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Old 03-16-2013, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
3,044 posts, read 4,111,357 times
Reputation: 3903

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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeman View Post
I'm looking to buy a home in the country that has a shared well. The well would be on my property, but there is a shared well agreement with 4 other properties (1 property has a house, the rest are vacant land plots).
The agreement stipulates that each part-owner pays 1/5th of all costs-elec.pump bill, repairs, maintenance. Here's the problem. The current owner doesn't charge the vacant land owners anything! He and the other house owner just split the bill. I guess because the (vacant) land-owners use little to no water--however there is the cost of the electric pump use every month. Would I look like a jerk if I stood by the agreement and had everyone pay their 1/5th fair share?
It would be nice to have the well to myself of course (**selfish bastard that I am**), but someone brought up a good point: if the well malfunctions, breaks, needs repair, there are 5 parties that have to pay to fix or re-drill, not just me.
I know NOTHING about wells, having come from the city. There is also a giant water storage tank on the property I'm buying that holds the water. Is that the usual way with wells? That you have a big storage tank? Does the agreement usually extend to the tank too?
Would love to hear from anyone who shares a well, or knows something about this. Thanks.
There are thousands of registered water associations in the USA and they work for a reason.
Remember you're rural? During the depression Roosevelt applied the best Harvard/Yale people to write by-laws, the Corps. of Engineers to drill wells, and small hamlets throughout the USA dug trenches for sewage disposal.
THESE REGULATIONS ARE STILL ON THE BOOKS.
State wise you can register/send samples to your Dept. of Ecology
Federal wise the Dept. of Safety and Health Services.
Or do I have that reversed?? B.C. Canada has four water assoc. and they are cities!

Developed one in 1980 in Wash. State: cost almost nothing. You reg. number (Fed./state) means that anyone else drilling in your area doesn't have priority over water. You do. they can't start a food colouring business and dump into your water source.
To answer your question: Usually an inactive "wate right" or "water share" doesn't cost until it's activated. By shared costs you not only can upgrade cheaply, but you can add certain filtration or even buy windpower or panels and take the water supply off of the grid with shared costs that mightinclude extras insurance, rebulding the water shed, security, etc.
TECHNICALLY out of the five water shares only two would right now have "votes"- the other guys. The addition of you would make you the tie breaker!So you're actually in control of the well! If you need a set of by-laws the Custer Water aSSoc. adopted mine (two pages, instead of eleven lawyers pages). The local postmaster I believe is on the board. These are usually volunteer run so check around. Like the family cow, once you start asking they pop up everywhere.

Last edited by thedwightguy; 03-16-2013 at 12:19 PM.. Reason: finish sentence
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
3,044 posts, read 4,111,357 times
Reputation: 3903
I noticed on this thread a number of disaster stories.

First, avoiding problems are what clear by-laws, in writing, are for. Example: in a small association, personal family use is prioritized, then LIVESTOCK, then washing your ten acre truck fleet with your on acreage welding business, THEN recreation!

Second, California and "fracking" are good examples of what can happen with the best of planning. The idea of rural living is either to be friendly or find your "unibomber" cabin. I can't help you with that one, but you'll be living next door, shared well or not.

Finally, somewhat of a joke: In 1980 a young couple moved across the road once my well was completed. I suggested that for the cost of running under the road I could provide them with unlimited, registered, certified Wash. State water, a new well, new building (800.). They spent 4500. on "their own weal".

The man was a Vietnam vet. (remember those malaria pills/??) and his wife was a nurse! (uh, can you say "superbug"??)Their septic (county said it was ok!) was pi##sing distance from their "shallow" well system! Of course the "chillen" were born with one eye in the middle of their forehead.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,879 posts, read 15,242,267 times
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We are blessed in Maine to have pure spring water running out of our springs. They sell it for a dollar a pint down in the cities. There is a long list of reasons in this thread. why not to buy a home with a shared well. If the existing well is not on your property just make sure your town or county will let you drill your own well if it should become necessary.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:35 PM
 
12,916 posts, read 15,766,227 times
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Hi joeman...I've used well water for decades, but I've never had to share a well...Personally, I'd never buy a place if I had to.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:04 AM
 
374 posts, read 444,321 times
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Never! Never share anything thats tied to your home. People on the most part don't have good charactor traits anymore. A mans word use to be good,now its just words.

We fight just sharing easements here. Nobody gets egress and regress EXCEPT on their own frontage. If most rural areas don't share roads without trouble,a well will sure cause problems,imo.

Some country people don't care if your fence is washed out long as theres is safe. They will make a dirt road a 4 lane,just because they are bored and have a new tractor to play with. We thought of renting a tractor and putting a 4 lane upside a couple fences here,but its not worth killing or being killed. Same jerks live in the country as the city just not as many. Also don't expect lots of peace and quite,haha,they use guns and practice 'getting their aim',our horse almost jumped in our lap when we first moved here. Watch "The Funny Farm" its fairly realistic about rural folks. Come on our land after deer and even had a deer feeder on it. Spit a chump of tobacco at our feet and said "I been huntin these woods all my life",I said'not anymore'. I ask if I could come hunt his property,should have seen the look on the fools face.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:21 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,478 posts, read 41,064,757 times
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Wow, horror stories...

I have had 6 places with shared wells, only one time was a problem and I put a QUICK fix to THAT,

Electric bill was not paid by 'owner', so I ran my own power to the well. ~$200 vs $20,000.

I have very specific well agreements that are filed against the deed of the property.


I don't doubt there are lots of horror stories, but there doesn't have to be...

I currently have a few props on shared well. I haven't seen a decrease in valuation, or ever ran low on water, and when there is a $6,000 expense for new pipe and pump every 30 yrs, we split it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:52 PM
 
374 posts, read 444,321 times
Reputation: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Wow, horror stories...

I have had 6 places with shared wells, only one time was a problem and I put a QUICK fix to THAT,

Electric bill was not paid by 'owner', so I ran my own power to the well. ~$200 vs $20,000.

I have very specific well agreements that are filed against the deed of the property.


I don't doubt there are lots of horror stories, but there doesn't have to be...

I currently have a few props on shared well. I haven't seen a decrease in valuation, or ever ran low on water, and when there is a $6,000 expense for new pipe and pump every 30 yrs, we split it.

I just got too excited about this,so don't pay it any attention. Maybe the people there will be different.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:15 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,256 times
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hi i live in island co. wa. we share a well with the people next door they havent paid the power bill in 2.5 years what can i do to make them pay there share
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,173,065 times
Reputation: 25899
Do not do it. Do not buy a home that is in any way reliant on other people, because people are NOT reliable. I think I would jump into a volcano first.

Should that well run dry you can bet that there will be disputes and headaches among all those who share it, and not everyone will pay their fair share because they won't have it. Having your well drilled deeper can be an exorbitantly expensive process, and those expenses could likely increase from 1/5th share to 1/2, as not all of your neighbors will have that kind of money on hand. Sounds like a very sticky situation to me.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:38 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,509,377 times
Reputation: 7537
HECK no!

Unless you want to be a landlord of the well, sayonara to that one.
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