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Old 10-01-2007, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Carson City, NV
52 posts, read 195,188 times
Reputation: 38

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Charles,
Every state is different and the costs are different. Get a referal from a Realtor in that area. Or even call the local water district for a referal. Even drilling companies know who is the best company to use. They can be different in each state.
Do your research before you buy.
Sharon
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:01 PM
 
20,312 posts, read 37,810,444 times
Reputation: 18092
A minor issue compared to health, but one I learned from a Master Electrician who both worked full time in the DC area and taught homeowners a 30-hour course in home wiring matters. I remember well the lessons she gave on computing the gauge of wire needed to power a well pump, especially deep ones.

The longer the cable runs from a breaker box to a point of use, there is a greater experience of "voltage drop." There is a very exacting computation for computing voltage drop over long cable runs. Though a 12-gauge wire may work fine for a pump or motor on a short cable run, if you run 300 feet from breaker to bottom of well, and 300 feet back to complete a circuit, then you have a 600 foot run of wire, and you need a heavier gauge of wire, maybe 6 gauge, which is MUCH thicker and heavier.

Well repairmen who are 'crafty' types will use the wrong gauge on purpose. This drops the voltage the pump receives and works to make the pump wear out and need more frequent replacement. Part of the reason is that some are lazy too, to use 6 gauge wire is heavy, and they don't want to deal with a pump and cable run that weighs HUNDREDS of pounds. Getting that in and out of the well is TOUGH piece of work.

So, if you need a well pump replaced, be sure your repairer uses a correctly sized wire gauge for the cable run.

Voltage Drop Calculator: Voltage Drop Calculator

s/Mike
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:36 PM
 
Location: SW Colorado
147 posts, read 549,187 times
Reputation: 87
We lived in Black Forest for many years and did have to replace our well pump which was only six years old at the time - cost us about $1200.

Our water came out of the Dawson Aquifer, part of the Denver Basin from which I believe there are three or four aquifers. As far as water quality, ours was very good. We had it tested through El Paso county every year and it always came out fine.

Your well permit should tell you which aquifer/basin you are allowed to drill into. I have heard rumors that the Black Squirrel aquifer which is part of the Denver Basin could run out of water within the next 30 years, not sure how accurate that is but I do know that many homes in eastern El Paso county and parts of Black Forest have wells in that aquifer. You should definitely check with the state water board to get some up-to-date information on the water situation.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,791,509 times
Reputation: 17412
Here is a cool site for finding all sorts of things about individual wells and Colorado Water information.

LTTOOLS - Colorado Division of Water Resources
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,653,156 times
Reputation: 1682
The Colorado Division of Water Resources has a very useful guide on water administration at:

http://water.state.co.us/pubs/wellpermitguide.pdf (broken link)

Pay particular attention to the section for prospective home buyers, too. Lots of new properties have restrictive "Household Use Only" well permits that mean just that...no outside uses permitted, not even water for your cat.

In Black Forest, you'll probably not have a city water option. Older properties might have a shallow well into the Upper Black Squirrel, but I think most probably have a well permit either for the Dawson aquifer, which is about 200-300 feet down, or the Denver aquifer, which is much larger but also much deeper at a ~750-1000 foot depth. Lots of good water down there, but if you have to go into the Denver aquifer, those wells cost $20-30K at today's rates of ~$22 per foot plus pump (and as much as $2K for cable to a pump that deep). A pump replacement is ~$1500...in a deep well it can run $4-6K, depending on if they have to replace the cable. Pumps usually last 10-15 years, less if they're abused (like left running dry in a low-flow well). Part of buying a home in BF should include a well output test by a well specialist...it takes several hours to do it right, much more than the average home inspector's bathtub fill test. Less than 5 gpm flow is cause to pause.

As for septic systems, I've read that 10-15 percent of septic systems fail every year, mostly due to misuse or poor maintenance. They work great when properly installed and operated. They have to be pumped before they overfill with sludge...once the tank overflows with solids, the piccolo pipes out to the leach field clog up and you get to dig up and put in a new leach field ($5K). People used to life in the city where they run everything down the garbage disposal can fill a smallish septic tank with grease and slowly-decomposing kitchen sink grindings and overflow it in a matter of months. People living in a house with a smaller septic tank after that house (but not the septic system) has been expanded is another common theme...adding 3 bedrooms to a finished basement and then filling a former 3BR home with a family of eight will result in a massive increase in waste flow that can exceed the capacity of a smaller system quickly. Most of the septic system horror stories I'm familiar with could have been prevented with a little education and minor lifestyle adjustment. And of course, if you're buying, you'll want a thorough inspection to make sure you don't pay for the last guy's misuse of the system.

Here's a good septic system reference from Utah State University:

http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/pub__4332466.pdf (broken link)

Cheers

Bob

Last edited by Bob from down south; 10-15-2007 at 06:43 PM.. Reason: URL tags
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:45 PM
 
39 posts, read 131,182 times
Reputation: 15
Question OT: Septic Tanks and Well Water?

Let me clarify I am a city girl..........so forgive the ignorance about these 2 things please

Dh and I are considering buying some acreage with septic and well water and neither of us really know about them. Can you help answer some questions?

1. Like are they as reliable as city supplies?
2. What are the upkeep differences?
3. What are the "issues/problems" associated with them?
4. What are the cost differences from city supplied?

Most grateful
Carin, mom of 4
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,791,509 times
Reputation: 17412
Quote:
Originally Posted by JourneyCC View Post
Let me clarify I am a city girl..........so forgive the ignorance about these 2 things please

Dh and I are considering buying some acreage with septic and well water and neither of us really know about them. Can you help answer some questions?

1. Like are they as reliable as city supplies?
2. What are the upkeep differences?
3. What are the "issues/problems" associated with them?
4. What are the cost differences from city supplied?


Most grateful
Carin, mom of 4
I'm not a tech expert, but I did what you are doing - went from municiple services to well and septic.

1. So far so good
2. You have to empty the septic system every few years.
3. One thing is that all my water sources are around 55 psi. In Los Angeles we had street pressure of 120 psi, great for hooking a nozzle up to the garden hose and cleaning up the yard. (It was pressure regulated to 55 psi for inside the house.) Can't do that here. The outdoor garden hoses are at the same pressure as the house, 55 psi. I ended up buying a gasoline powered pressure washer for heavy duty clean up.
4. Free water, there is an electric pump for the well. Not sure on the costs. Emptying the septic tank is something like $300-$350 for a 2200 gallon tank.

The water tastes great and it is always cold, and I mean cold, even in summer. When we fill the girls little inflatable pool we have to add warm water even in August.

Charles, dad of four.

I drink the well water and I don't look like this:


Last edited by Charles; 01-13-2008 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:02 PM
 
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,750,429 times
Reputation: 31051
It would be a good idea to call your local health department and ask what kind of water problems you might have in your area, then test for those contaminants. City water is regulated, and has to meet certain standards. Private wells are not. If you don't test yourself, who knows what you might be drinking.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Carefree Arizona
127 posts, read 392,077 times
Reputation: 80
Having a home with an older septic system one of the things that can lead to a very short life with the leach field is the lint from washing machines. Having some sort of mechanism to capture the lint coming from the waste water hose or even a nylon sock is one of the best things that can be done to prolong the life of your leach field.
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