With many people in dense urban areas, I have many customers that have never had well water before, and often have concerns about what they need to know. Â While not exhaustive, I'll try to post the fundamentals here.
The really good news is you won't have a water bill. Â If you're getting water out of a private well, it's yours, so no fee. Â Most experts expect the cost of municipal, or public water, to go up in the future, so this could be a real positive going forward. Â The bad news is the water doesn't come out on it's own - it's pumped out, and generally has a smallÂ reservoirÂ system to keep the pressure steady. Â Both of theseÂ componentsÂ can, and do, wear our and need maintenance/replacement over time, so a home owner learns to keep an eye on them just as they must with any other mechanical system.Â
Pressure can be worse or better than municipal flows, but in general is not a concern. Â As noted above, the systems can help regulate pressure, and there are other tricks (like the faucet heads) that can simulate or increase the pressure should you desire it. Â All wells should have a pressure test, generally paid for by the buyer, at inspection time to make sure their are no issues here. Â If there are issuse, they can usually be corrected, but depending on the pressure issues involved, they can be expensive, so it good to know the projected cost before you move in.
Well safety is about both biological (bacteria) and chemical factors. Â All wells should be tested for water quality at inspection time as part of the purchase process. Â Most issues are easy to fix, but some are not, and generally the tests will give you the peace of mind you seek as to the safety of the water. Â Well owners should re-test on a regular basis (yearly is often suggested),Â especiallyÂ if their communities are in at-risk areas for certainÂ containments. Â Note that "standard" testing packages oftentimes may not include important, but more expensive tests (like Arsenic and Radon) that I recommend ALWAYS be tested. Â These rare water issues are expensive to fix, and can be health problems to boot. Â Discuss with your agent which tests you need to perform, and review the quality report diligently. Â Once you sift through it, you'll be more knowledgeable about your water (a good thing!) and well prepared to move forward with your purchase.
Many wells do require power to operate, so if you do lose power, once theÂ reservoirÂ is empty, you may lose water too. Â If you are in an area where power outages are frequent and not short, you may want to consider a battery backup of generator solution. Â Battery backups can be just for wells, and generators are really a more full service (and expensive) solution.
A well is certainly no reason to NOT purchase a property. Â Well water is generally safe and reliable, in some cases, even safer than municipal water. Â But it does require more care and knowledge, and hopefully this is a good start for a prospective purchaser.
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