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Old 09-21-2019, 03:16 PM
 
1,993 posts, read 687,347 times
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Regarding wells, the normal threshold for water recovery is 5 gallons per minute and many lenders require that prior to issuing a mortgage. You need to see the drillers log that was submitted to the town.

As far as the septic system is concerned, see if the town or BOH has a plot plan that shows where the fields are located on the property, type of system, footage of the fields, junction box and septic tank location, stats, etc.

Having an adequate expansion area for the fields is also very important and most newer septic system requirements are mandated to have a 100% expansion area for the septic fields.

Another good rule of thumb is to speak to several neighbors regarding their water and septic system since soil types and the water table heights, quantity (GPM) should be similar to adjacent properties.
It’s almost impossible to accurately check the health and functionality of a residential septic system. A typical dye test is very unreliable as there are many factors that can both expose or conceal septic field issues.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:27 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,240 posts, read 15,129,543 times
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We moved from city (our whole lives) to rural/ag property with a well and septic. It's been 7 years and we're doing fine. There wasn't even a record of the location of our septic (as currently required by state) but at least we could see the well head and equipment. We've had our septic pumped twice and plan on doing so every 3 years. As for the well, we are looking at a more powerful motor but so far, everything's working fine. We did put in a back-up generator a few years ago specifically to handle one of the issues noted above: no water with a power outage.

There is nothing planned to bring this area into the 20th century by bringing out "county" water/sewer. We aren't in a town/city so it would have to come from the county. We will probably be pushing up flowers before it even gets to being discussed.
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:15 AM
 
7,347 posts, read 4,056,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
If the system is working well it does not need to be “brought up to code”. Septic can be repaired but not replaced using the code that was in existence when it was installed.

Also the current owner can refuse to do any repairs on anything if he chooses. The buyer can still buy, then make any improvements truly needed thereafter at his own expense.
It is very likely that requirements in Indiana are different than requirements in North Carolina or South Carolina or Southern California or Northern Michigan. In fact, it is very likely that different jurisdictions within the different states have different requirements.

The OP is cautioned to take all such blanket statements as not indicative of requirements in their area of concern.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:51 AM
 
Location: northern va
1,617 posts, read 2,184,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
If the system is working well it does not need to be “brought up to code”. Septic can be repaired but not replaced using the code that was in existence when it was installed.

Also the current owner can refuse to do any repairs on anything if he chooses. The buyer can still buy, then make any improvements truly needed thereafter at his own expense.
my fault for not being more clear but cant go back and edit.. my comment about bringing up to code was moreseo thinking down the road.. If I was a buyer that had a functioning, but old, septic I'd like to know that when the day comes to replace it (possibly when I'm selling again down the road and the new buyer does their inspection), what are some things that might need to be brought up to code at that point, and whether that would add $$

And correct, the current owner can refuse any requests from a buyer. I could have worded that better, my point was that a buyer can ask for anything they want, the seller can say no to everything or anything.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:05 AM
 
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We moved from an area where well and septic was unheard of to an area where they are the norm. (Both areas in NJ, BTW.) We have had well and septic (cesspool, actually) for 35+ years and I would not hesitate for a second to buy home with them again or land in an area that will require their installation. Listen to everyone's good advice here, hire PROFESSIONALS who know what they are talking about (as in, the well person probably won't be the expert you want to talk to about the condition of the septic sytem), get everything tested, etc. Know your local and state laws, which can vary dramatically. Hopefully, you've got an attorney who is familiar with rural homes and their requirements.
In 35 years, we have dug a new well once because the old shallow well ran dry. Those shallow wells are no longer dug around here. We get our well water tested every 2-3 years and have a water softener system in the basement. (The quality of water and the typical solutes in it vary considerably, even from town to town.) We get the cesspool pumped once a year and that seems to keep it in good working order. We do have a whole-house generator because we hated being without power for days after a storm. This meant being without water, too, which was not fun. I guess that would be one real downside to having a well.

If you find a home you love and it has well/septic, don't automatically reject it. People have been living with well/septic for a long time.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:00 PM
 
Location: 26°N x 82°W
544 posts, read 299,737 times
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We lived on two rural properties in Colorado; first one had municipal "out-city" water but was on a septic system. Second place which we built ourselves, had both a very expensive to install deep well (over 1,000 ft. down and cost us $35K back in 2002) and septic.

We availed ourselves of as much knowledge we could initially on the care and feeding of having a septic system as we both had come from city services in the past. First was a perf pipe in sand ditch layout out of a 500 gal tank. Kept it pumped every two years, never dumped harsh chemicals down the drain and even used a food disposer in the kitchen that injected an enzyme into the plumbing when it was used. Second was a perf pipe in large pit and was a 3-chambered, 750 gal. pumped system to accommodate our basement. Never had a single problem in 30 years total. Just routine maintenance, no big deal.

The well in the second house was the best-tasting, cleanest water ever. Was strangely very soft and never had problems with iron or minerals, though we did change the whole house filter quarterly for 16 years of having it. Blew 15 GPM and when it came out of the pressure tank it was 56 degrees F. Had a monster of a 3-stage Gould pump that was still running strong when we sold the place.

Wouldn't think twice about a septic or well again, as long as it could be proven that both systems had been well-maintained.

Edit: Unfortunately we had an idiot for our selling agent who claimed he knew everything about septic systems... until we had a buyer who wanted to add 2 bedrooms to the existing 3 bedroom house. Of course the buyers would have to update the size of the system but our boneheaded guy didn't know that and made some assumptions that nearly cost us the sale. Make darned sure you have an agent that really knows about this stuff.

Last edited by twowilldo; 09-22-2019 at 03:12 PM.. Reason: Additional info.
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Old 09-22-2019, 04:39 PM
 
7,263 posts, read 3,999,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmerLernen View Post
We're looking at relocating to central Indiana. Most homes we've found of interest are in suburban neighborhoods and are on municipal water and sewer. However, from time to time, we find an interesting listing that's got private well water and/or septic.

We have no familiarity with being on well & septic. What do we need to look out for as home buyers? What questions do we ask and of whom?

Adding to our concerns is the desire to put in a back yard swimming pool. I would imagine that complicates matters.

Any advice from experienced people would be much appreciated!
I wouldn't buy a house w/well water. The well will run out of water at some point, or have health issues. If you tie into public water, you have to pay to the point of tie-in.

Septic systems are okay, if not toooo old. I prefer city systems, though, and would avoid septic, unless there's some reason to buy in that area.

I have a septic system. That's what in the area I chose. It's totally fine. But I'm single, so it's easy to keep it healthy. Not an overload of laundry or kids throwing things down the toilet or anything.

When I sell the house, I'll need to pay for pumping it out, though. About $400, I think. And cost of a health certification required by my district (about $100, I think?).
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Colorado
181 posts, read 39,133 times
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Rule #1. Get them labeled correctly so you don't get them mixed up.
Rule #2. See Rule #1.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:36 PM
 
9,794 posts, read 7,412,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemstone1 View Post
When was the well drilled, by whom ? Is there a county/state record of the well (called a well registry).
If so, the well registry will provide the diameter, depth, depth of casing, depth to water, refresh rate, gallon per minute rate, depth to water, size of pump. Armed with the diameter, total depth, depth to water, you'll be able to calculate how much water is stored in the water column. The refresh rate will indicate how much time it will take to replace the water you draw out of the water column. The gallon per minute rate will indicate how much water you can use, and for what.

Generally, most of that info should be on a metal tag on the well itself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeIsGood01 View Post
With well you will most likely need to get some kind of outside full house water treatment system put in place. If your power goes out after a storm or a tree knocks the power out you will not have water as it uses an electric pump most likely, as far as I know. On the bright side you won't nave a water or sewer bill but you will still have to pay for it with the septic and wells system. If the town or city decides to upgrade to city water and sewer you may be charged $30K or more for them to do it and it's not your choice to do it or not or how much they charge.

A simple filter is usually enough, unless you're really picky about your water. I have a cartridge system that I replace the filter once a year. Cuts back on the lime and iron but doesn't eliminate them. It's still pretty hard water. If you're bringing up water from the ground, you're going to get some of the ground.

Ah, but.. You have the ability to put a hand pump on it. So, in the event of EMP or something that takes out the power grid.. You will at least have water. Is that LIKELY? well, probably not. But you also don't have to worry about fluoride or any 'boil water' advisories.

I haven't seen a single person mention the pressure tank.. I actually had one of those fail about 2 years ago and had to climb under my house and replace it. Not really expensive.. Just a PITA.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:55 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,240 posts, read 15,129,543 times
Reputation: 15051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Generally, most of that info should be on a metal tag on the well itself.





A simple filter is usually enough, unless you're really picky about your water. I have a cartridge system that I replace the filter once a year. Cuts back on the lime and iron but doesn't eliminate them. It's still pretty hard water. If you're bringing up water from the ground, you're going to get some of the ground.

Ah, but.. You have the ability to put a hand pump on it. So, in the event of EMP or something that takes out the power grid.. You will at least have water. Is that LIKELY? well, probably not. But you also don't have to worry about fluoride or any 'boil water' advisories.

I haven't seen a single person mention the pressure tank.. I actually had one of those fail about 2 years ago and had to climb under my house and replace it. Not really expensive.. Just a PITA.


good point about the pressure tank. luckily for us, it's in the pump house. We are planning to upgrade ours as soon as we're finished with all the other upgrades. our pressure is "ok" but we'd like a little more.
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