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Old 08-11-2013, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Atkinson NH
1,092 posts, read 643,877 times
Reputation: 1255

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I currently get my house water from a private well. The water quality is acceptable and the only time I have run short of water was once last September when I was watering the grass seed over my new drain field too aggressively. The water came back to normal after a couple of hours.

Now it looks like a water main will be installed down my street to mitigate pollution in a nearby neighborhood. I am trying to decide if I should tie into the community water that will soon be available. Here are the pros and cons I have come up with so far.

Reasons to tie in:
-more reliable supply
-better water pressure
-increase to property value
-water will be available during power outage

Reasons not to tie in:
-upfront cost to run water line from house to street
-monthly water bills
-will be subjected to water company restrictions on outdoor use

Does anyone have any other pros or cons that I am missing? Will I be able to keep my private well for outdoor use or even as a backup for indoor use if there is a problem with the community water supply?
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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If the town is providing the water in street you may not have any choice.
Most municipalities mandate that homeowner hook up with city/town water and further the homeowner must pay for the hook up. Making any well you have moot.

Mostly applies to sewer lines but maybe water is different.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,783 posts, read 16,365,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unit731 View Post
If the town is providing the water in street you may not have any choice.
Most municipalities mandate that homeowner hook up with city/town water and further the homeowner must pay for the hook up. Making any well you have moot.

Mostly applies to sewer lines but maybe water is different.

Generally speaking once public water (or sewer) is available people are required to hook up to it.

You may or may not have to pay a tap fee, that varies so you need to find that out from the water authority. You would, however, have to pay to dig the trench to your house and hook up your house system in any event.

You also may be allowed to keep your well for outside watering, car washing, etc. if you isolate it from the main house system.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Atkinson NH
1,092 posts, read 643,877 times
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Just to clarify, my town does not have a public water supply. The community water in this case is provided by a private company that services multiple towns in the region.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,783 posts, read 16,365,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtkinsonDan View Post
Just to clarify, my town does not have a public water supply. The community water in this case is provided by a private company that services multiple towns in the region.

It doesn't matter probably. The private company is likely contracted by the town to supply water. The system may even, at one time, have been owned and operated by the town and then sold to the company.

If the town is under a state mandate to supply public water (or central water if you prefer) the method of ownership doesn't really matter. A lot of towns in PA have that arrangement.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:34 AM
 
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as others stated, you may be required to pay even if you choose to keep using your well.


Check where the water supply is coming from. A lot are contracted to Pennichuck? (guessing) in Merrimack. If that's the case, use the well. sorry
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: God's Country
598 posts, read 421,522 times
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My grandparents had a similar situation a number of years ago. Even though they had no issues with their well, they opted to go ahead and tie into the new line figuring it would be cheaper in the early stages rather than if they decided to later on the line had already been routed. Years later their well went dry after 50 years or more of dependably providing water. Rather than being a massive hardship on fixed incomes, they were able to simply start using the municipal water. Just a thought.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:35 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,783 posts, read 16,365,014 times
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One advantage to central water as opposed to a well is that when the power goes out you still have water (new regs require systems to have back up generators for both water and sewer. And yeah, I know about individual generators).
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:55 PM
 
Location: North Metro Atlanta
4,850 posts, read 6,091,677 times
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One thing most water services have is a Monthly Service charge, just to have the connection, and a minimum usage normally 3-5,000 gallons a month, that your pay regardless of how little water your use, so Connecting and using your well will cost you each month. If you do connect, I would suggest keeping the well for lawn/outdoor use till the pump goes bad, then shut down the well.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:00 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,783 posts, read 16,365,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
One thing most water services have is a Monthly Service charge, just to have the connection, and a minimum usage normally 3-5,000 gallons a month, that your pay regardless of how little water your use, so Connecting and using your well will cost you each month. If you do connect, I would suggest keeping the well for lawn/outdoor use till the pump goes bad, then shut down the well.
How it's broken up and what they're called varies but the above is correct. The minimum charges are usually a requirement of the bondholders to maintain enough income to pay off the bonds.

We have a number of developers here who bought water and sewer taps which they've never used because they have yet to build the project. They get a bill every year for what we call a benefit charge which pays off the bonding.

We also have a minimum charge based on 10000 gallons/quarter which covers the fixed cost of treating/providing the water and sewage. The developers I mentioned don't pay that but would have to if they build the project and it remains empty.
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