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bentonbee
01-30-2011, 01:35 AM
I've posted before about problems with the water at our new-to-us homestead. (e-coli)

Now it looks as though we are going to be able to do something about it much sooner than we'd thought. It costs about the same to drill a well as it does to hook up to the county water. ($12,000) However, there is a minimum monthly charge for the county water of about $36, even if no water is used.)

We are at the homestead 4 to 8 nights a month. We likely won't be living there full time for 7 to 10 years. (Depending on our retirement plans)

What are some things we need to consider in our decision about a water source. Should we have our own well drilled or should we hook up to the county water system? Your input is appreciated!

mozarkian
01-30-2011, 03:21 PM
I've posted before about problems with the water at our new-to-us homestead. (e-coli)

Now it looks as though we are going to be able to do something about it much sooner than we'd thought. It costs about the same to drill a well as it does to hook up to the county water. ($12,000) However, there is a minimum monthly charge for the county water of about $36, even if no water is used.)

We are at the homestead 4 to 8 nights a month. We likely won't be living there full time for 7 to 10 years. (Depending on our retirement plans)

What are some things we need to consider in our decision about a water source. Should we have our own well drilled or should we hook up to the county water system? Your input is appreciated!

Well water, when its good, is better than the best county water. That said, if you aren't going to be living there for 7-10 years - county water may be the way to go as wells, pressure tanks and control boxes need to be maintained.

$12,000 :eek: to drill a well? How deep do they have to go? Around here a drilled well can usually be done for $3500 to $8000...

NCLee
01-30-2011, 05:50 PM
Ouch! On that well price. If you haven't already done so, get some more quotes. Is there something unusual about your location that drives the price up so much?

Check into hand drilled wells, if that's something feasible for your location.

Find out what it will cost to make your well's water safe to drink, if that can be done. It may be a simple fix, if the well's being comtaminated from surface water drainage, for example. If the water table is contaminated, drilling that $12,000 well may not solve the problem.

County vs well. Personal opinion coming up!! :) As long as I could find the money to pay for it, and am reasonably sure I can get decent water, I'd drill the well.

A. Our county system pulls water from a lake, a polluted river, and a creek so polluted land around it can't be put into a conservation program. I don't want all the chemicals they add to kill disease causing organisms. I don't want the "little blue pill", other folks antibiotics, and the "stuff" in the water when the up stream waste treatment plant fails, as it's done on numerous occassions in the last few years. Filter plants don't remove everything that's in the water at the intake point.

B. I don't want to be at the mercy of the county system. What if the power fails and they can't pump water? Whats the guarantee the rates of today will remain low enough in the future that I can still pay them. Water rates have taken big jumps around here to help towns & the county weather this economic storm. While I pay property taxes, that isn't enough to pay for the new water/sewer plants that resulted from county commissioners approving subdivisions without having the infrastructure to support them. Rake in the property taxes from those McMansions and later figure out how to pay for everything those new folks need. Well, the bubble burst. No telling where those water rates will go in the next few years.

C. The only rationing of my water that I want to be forced into is when nature puts us in a drough situation. If I have a well, I can ration myself, as needed. If I'm on county water, I have to do as they say or else. Else being whatever they dream up to enforce their rules.

D. If TSHTF, especially with hyper inflation, who knows what it will cost to drill that well 7 years from now? Or, what the water rates will be? Or, if the county will still being supplying water at that time? Using current rates, you have $12,000 + $36 x 12, x 7 or $3,024 (minimum) invested and may not have a drop of water to drink.

If at all possible, find a way to have your own independent supply of water.

FWIW, this is a touchy subject for me, as we may be forced by the county tie into their system, when a water line comes down our road. Our good well will be condemmed and we'll have to prove it's been disconnected from the house, when the tap is done. Just hate to have to pay out all that money and jump through all those hoops for something we don't plan to use. :wink:

Lee

grumble
01-30-2011, 06:07 PM
Lee: "...as we may be forced by the county tie into their system, when a water line comes down our road."

That was gonna be my comment. Once again, you beat me to it. <G>

Something to consider is that if you HAVE a working well, there's a possibility that you might be "grandfathered" and not be forced to buy a tap to the county water system. If you DON'T have a well, you won't have any choice in the matter.

NCLee
01-30-2011, 06:32 PM
Nope, wells won't be grandfathered.

When the county first started laying lines, they had a "special" that people could sign up for to save money when the time comes to tap in. Spelled out clearly then, there won't be any choice. Thus, they were offering the special.

"Special" low price for the tap + low monthly fee. I can't remember how many years ago that was, and the line still isn't in front of the house. Until the land ownership around me changes, they won't come down this road, as they can't recoop the cost of laying the line. However, the land around me is prime for development - thus the worry. I'm just glad I'm not paying a "fee" on something that doesn't exist yet.

Lee

grumble
01-30-2011, 06:54 PM
"...the land around me is prime for development ..."

I shudder when I hear that. Similar things happened here when a large landowner neighbor died. We lucked out though, it was subdivided into parcels of at least 140 acres. It could have gone to the little 15 acre nothing-down-and-easy-payments "ranchettes."

A water system is a long way from happening here, and I'm grateful for that. There is talk, though, of the State putting meters on our wells that we'll have to pay for. Revolt time when/if that happens.

bookwormom
01-30-2011, 07:30 PM
are you someplace out west where they have to drill half way to China to get water? 12 000 is pretty steep. 3500 is what our neighbors paid for a 250 foot well. have you considered a cistern? the city water in this area tastes so awful, I am glad I do not have to drink it. You can taste the chemicals. Ugh.

God's Country
01-30-2011, 09:55 PM
I don't think I would drop 12k for a well used 4-8 times/month unless there were no alternative.

Have you tried to shock the well or perhaps an ultraviolet system?

Catalpa
01-31-2011, 01:10 AM
I'd have to ditto about what Lee says. Avoid the county water system! Why have something as critical as your water supply under someone else's control? Not to mention municipal water supplies don't clean out the drugs in the water.

I would certainly get another quote on the well, and also research correcting the issue with the old well. E. coli must be getting in somehow - is it a crock well? A shallow point well? Or is it a properly drilled well that has an improper well cap that could be replaced, and the well rechlorinated? There's a lot to look at...but boy oh boy would I stay away from the county water!

MichaelK
02-01-2011, 01:54 PM
Hi Benton
Now, about the well you already have, do you know how it got E. coli contamination in it? Our land was former cattle grazing land, and even with cow paddies within throwing distance of the well head, it has zero coliform contamination. I did that analysis myself and our water came out absolutely sterile.

Before even thinking about drilling a new well, I'd contact a well company to find out ways of sanitizing the well first. They could retrofit it to prevent surface contamination much cheaper than drilling a whole new well.

As an alternative, have you looked into an inexpensive water purification system. We have one for our home tap water and it removes both organic and inorganic contaminatants in addition to bacteria. You simply change out the filter cartridges every 6-12 months.

One final option is just to have separate bottled drinking water in the kitchen. Though our wellwater is clean, I have developed a taste for bottled and will fill 5 gallon bottles in town. We're there only on weekends for now, so our consumption of water doesn't yet justify a purification system. Most of our raw well water goes straight to irrigation of our orchard and garden plot so a few 5 gallon bottles meets all our needs.

qwerty
02-01-2011, 06:53 PM
$12,000 for a well seems expensive to me. I would look into what other folks near your locale are doing. That being said when I was growing up a long time ago we all drank well water no fancy high-tech filters etc. and never got sick. My father did not hook onto county water until around 1977. We have several spring fed ponds and a creek where our beef cattle drink. Good luck, but if you find out that most people use county water I would go with that option.

grumble
02-01-2011, 07:06 PM
There are a lot of comments about the $12k price tag for the well.

I'm not so sure he's that far off the mark.

if he wants a steel case, it could cost $25/foot

25 x 300 feet deep = $7500

If he want to go solar:

Grundfos pump $2200
600 watts of solar panels @ $3/watt= 1800
wire, plumbing, and labor could easily be $1000

That well stuff can really add up quick, especially if a person buys retail and can't do a lot of it himself.

Andy Jones
02-01-2011, 11:32 PM
I'm in such a remote area that there isn't a water system.My well was drilled 13 years ago,320 feet deep,$4400 ready to use.I've got great water,no iron,and it pumps out at 20 gpm,which I'm told is very good for a residential well.

My well was drilled by a local drilling company,having been in business for 50+ years.They had very detailed and accurate records of wells drilled in my area.The driller said he would hit water at 4 different depths,but the good water would be deep.He said he could guarantee a 90% probability of good water with no iron,and he delivered.Iron water is a big problem in my area.

I've got a couple of wet weather springs on my property,too far away from the house to be practical.The well was the only way.

Andy

oldtimer
02-02-2011, 12:46 PM
If you're not there any more often than that and all you need water for is the house, why not consider putting in a cistern?

You could either catch the roof water or you could have water hauled in to fill it.

Most folks in this neck of the woods have run their houses off of cistern water forever.

Well water is too hard, and rural water is too expensive.

Old Rusty
04-10-2011, 07:27 PM
We have had Co water for 23 years and just drilled our well and are now on well water. It is good water and it sure is good to know that it is not full of chemicals used to treat water. No telling what may happen to a public water supply now a days.

bentonbee
04-10-2011, 09:07 PM
We went with a very reputable well-drilling company in our area. They've been doing this for decades and have all the records, too. The old well was infested with e-coli and was on the neighbor's land. The well-drilling company quote was for a 250 ft well. Only had to go 190 feet, so it was several thousand dollars less. (Hooray!) Now, we have our own well, with good pressure and it tested perfectly safe to drink. No more boiling water to wash dishes......(Hooray, again!)

Thank you all for your input, opinions and ideas. Helped us in making our decision.

Old Rusty
04-11-2011, 12:02 AM
Congratulations on your new well. :)

MoJo
04-15-2011, 09:57 PM
The well is the way to go......now that you have it you will likely never regret the decision.
I check my water about once every 3 years. costs about $35 if I remember to send off a sample and test for anything you can think of.
You dont have to worry about what the county decides they need to *add* to their water!!!

Catalpa
04-16-2011, 12:52 AM
Congrats on the new well. Now your water supply is yours and under your control. Test the water every so often, maintain the well (don't store any chemicals near it, don't hit the well head with a plow, etc.) and you'll have a good safe water supply for many years.

crunchycon
04-16-2011, 10:50 AM
My folks live on family property in a rural county. While they are hooked up to the county water system, they also recently revived the old well on the property (and yes, ouch to the price of a new pump) - they also didn't want to have to rely on someone else having complete control over their water supply.