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Old 03-17-2010, 03:47 PM
 
Location: RTP area, NC
1,277 posts, read 3,019,001 times
Reputation: 946

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I much prefer well water over city water. Lived with it for most of my life. No water bills are quite nice.

However, well water isn't exactly *free*. You own the pump, so if the pump goes - you need to replace it. Ask how old the pump is and ask your building inspector when he/she thinks it might need replacement.

The 'lack of water when power is out' depends on if you have a holding tank or not - you will still run out, but you might have more than 'none' when the power goes out. You will also have water in your hot water heater unless that is on-demand hot water...

When buying the house, ask if the well has ever run dry. Just like with the septic, you might not want to do all loads of wash on same day - do a load a day and keep showers short - respect the water. It is not always unlimited. There are fill rates and such I think they can check to see how the well is refilling.

Ask to know its location on the property (usually on other side of house from the septic). It is nice to know and respect where your well is situated - no oil changing over the well??

You will want to do a water test as part of building inspection to ensure the well isn't contaminated. If it is contaminated, not a deal breaker - it might need to be treated - yes, occasionally things will die in the well. You will want to do periodic well testing yourself after you own it. Of course, other things in the well might be deal breakers...but you'll find out.

You also might want to note whether there are lime deposits or other mineral deposits in the sinks, shower, toilet bowl - and ask if there is a water softener - I actually prefer hard water to drink rather than 'softened' water, but it is hard on the pipes.

Note: around here they also have 'community wells' - you do get a bill for the water use usually, and the water quality reports are usually available publicly....and the water sometimes is treated before it gets to you (pH adjusted, etc). eg: a neighborhood might share a set of wells. Our neighborhood is like that - Aqua maintains the community wells and bills us monthly for water use.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Durham
840 posts, read 3,005,511 times
Reputation: 631
I had this same question when we were going to move into a house on well water (we didn't). I was pleasantly surprised with the good feedback from forum posters and the landlord.

Tell me about well water (Durham County)
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Hillsborough, NC
126 posts, read 265,741 times
Reputation: 63
Thank you everyone for your responses. I will indeed test as part of our inspection, if it comes to that, and yes I think fluoride from the dentist is enough. I am leery of a septic tank, but that is from my childhood memories of having a bad one and being too poor to fix it! The well is a total unknown for me, and it seems wonderful to be able to water the grass, etc, and not spend a monthly fortune and be restricted. Thanks again for your opinions!
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:13 PM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,841,965 times
Reputation: 9599
Also ..when you have a welll you do not have the
same water restrictions that city water people have
during the droughts.

We still try to conserve but it is nice to be able to wash your car
without a problem, or water your grass on the day that works for you instead of your assigned day.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,149 posts, read 6,952,321 times
Reputation: 3635
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebrentwood View Post
I'd be more afraid of contaminants.
From a well? You do realize the water that comes out of your tap is provided by the City of Raleigh that gets it's water from Falls lake which has been labeled as "impaired"? You would be disgusted by the amount of "contaminants" it takes to get that water clean enough to drink!
No thanks, but I'll take my well water any day!

Quote:
When buying the house, ask if the well has ever run dry. Just like with the septic, you might not want to do all loads of wash on same day - do a load a day and keep showers short - respect the water. It is not always unlimited. There are fill rates and such I think they can check to see how the well is refilling.
If you are having a shortage of water due to over-usage the well is most likely in trouble or has such a low gpm a new one is in order. The water table a well attaches to has water constantly flowing into it and unless there is a drastic change in the water table a well should never run dry.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:23 AM
 
156 posts, read 369,219 times
Reputation: 39
I am glad to see this post as I had similar questions. I have had a well for 25 years here in MD and have always had a water conditioning system. However, my biggest problem with the well water here has been the high mineral (esp. iron) content which often stains my laundry, the inside of my dishwasher (and some china), my toilet bowls and shower tile. I am glad to hear that you don't appear to have that problem there. We have been looking at retirement in the Triangle and I wondered if I should rule out well/septic when house hunting.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:42 AM
 
1,593 posts, read 2,691,024 times
Reputation: 965
I have holly springs water and my inlaws have a well in Fuquay. I can't tell the difference, but they have a pretty sophisticated filter system on their well system.

I would rather have city water/sewer, it's a bill but I don't have to worry about pumps and filters and septic tanks.

Last edited by zinner; 03-18-2010 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
2,812 posts, read 6,447,100 times
Reputation: 1958
As a well owner, snickering that its not an oil or gas well that I own, but them again I can't drink gasoline or oil and natural gas gives me the hi-cups....j/k. Here goes:

Pros:
No water bill.
Its your water, no rationing at time of drought......maybe..
Tastes great, less filling...well a gallon is a gallon no matter what you fill!


Cons:
Its your well, if the pump fails its about $400 - $500 bucks.
If the pressure tank fails under your house its $150 bucks to blow off!
If the well head freezes its your job to unfreeze or a plumber for $120 bucks.
Wells do run dry, especially older wells, not so much from lack of water but the capillary veins that feeds the well build up calcium and other minerals and closes them off hence reducing the amount of water flow.
Wells do not have infinite supply of water like city water does. Forgetting you turn a hose off will not get you a high water bill like city water it could mean you are ready for your morning 'wake me up please' shower and notta! Nothing, no water. But the good news is the well will recover in an hour or two. However, if this happens to often it burn up the well pump motor....
If a new well is required than it is an expensive water source.


So net-net...well actually at the well pump head there is a screen and not a net but my well experience has been deep and submerged at times and still think if one needs to keep their head above water than a well is the way to go!
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:16 PM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,841,965 times
Reputation: 9599
There have been articles in the newspaper about a high arsenic
level in many area wells.

I don't remember many details but I would find the information
and do my homework on where that problem exists if I were
buying a house with a well again.

This a a link to one article about this problem...

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/105265/

Last edited by kelly237; 03-18-2010 at 06:28 PM..
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