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Old 03-15-2011, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Near Graham WA
1,141 posts, read 1,282,523 times
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As I look at properties for sale in the greater Puget Sound area, I find that some specify "individual well".
To put it bluntly, I have no idea how an individual water well works, what it entails, and what are its benefits and drawbacks.
Any information would be very much appreciated!
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:04 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,162 posts, read 18,539,692 times
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Many rural properties will have an "individual well", and since you are looking ... some have class B water systems (shared wells).
Frequently Asked Water Questions

Basically, the residence is served by a domestic water well, that HOPEFULLY was installed with a permit and according to Dept of Ecology regulations (which are significant since queen Christine was the ex-director, and dept grew from ~40 to 400, so they need to push a lot of paperwork to look busy).

As property owner you will be responsible for compliance, service, and maint of the well, but REMEMBER the water is never yours (neither is the rain that runs off your gutters, or fills your basement), it is a STATE resource and Christine KNOWS that. (hint: future revenue source...). WA State is getting VERY stringent about private wells, as many cities get their water from ground source wells.

Also if the state wants to shut it down or use the water for something else they can. If a future water system comes down the street YOU WILL be required to abandon your well ($2000) and pay for the expense of running the pipes through the center of the street (~$100/ ft), AND for hooking up to the new system. (~$3,000).

That said... I have several properties on wells in WA, as that is my only choice.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Near Graham WA
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Very interesting, thank you. Looks like any "upgrade" to a community water system may be costly!
Can you explain how these wells work - i.e. how the water gets from the aquifer to one's house? It may sound like a dumb question, but I really don't "get" the mechanics of it.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Washington State
130 posts, read 183,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PollyGlott View Post
Very interesting, thank you. Looks like any "upgrade" to a community water system may be costly!
Can you explain how these wells work - i.e. how the water gets from the aquifer to one's house? It may sound like a dumb question, but I really don't "get" the mechanics of it.
Wells are pretty basic. The well itself is just a very long hole in the ground. Most often cased in 4"-6" pipe. What gets the water from underground to you is the pump. The pump, wiring and pipe all get placed down in the well below the water level. If you ever run out of water you have to have the pump lowered or removed and have the well drilled deeper. The pump's power supply is often located in a pump house, a shed like structure near the well. If there is no such structure then the power supply is located inside somewhere.

On the surface you'll have a pressure tank somewhere. Mine is in my pump house, often they are located in side the house. This is a tank with a bladder inside that provides the pressure to push the water through your house. Coming out of the pressure tank is a pressure valve. This is designed to open up to relive pressure from the tank. If your pump doesn't shut off, or if you have other problems this will open up and you'll have to reset it.

Now if you happen to have a direct drive pump, then the whole pressure system is omitted from construction. The pump creates enough prusse to flow the water through the house.

Things to remember about having a well, if the power goes out, so does your water. A good reason to have a back-up generator. Pumps last on average about 10 years. So saving money up to replace it is a good idea. Depending on where you live you may have to have periodic water tests. Check with the local health department on that one.

The best thing about a well? No water bill!
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Near Graham WA
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Thanks for the explanation!
I suppose the source of one's water can vary widely, but what- if anything - purifies the water, or rather, makes it drinkable?
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle, originally from SF Bay Area
14,446 posts, read 17,381,414 times
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In the area where my parents live between Sequim and Port Angeles there is no municipal water supply. They have a water softener but the
water is clean coming out. They do use a water cooler for drinking. You have to get the water tested periodically. If at some time the city puts water lines in they will force you to pay whether you connect to it or not. Figure $20,000 for the average home. You pay not only for a plumber to connect you and run theline to the home, and disconnect the well, but the City will have charges for the additional demand on their system, and your share of bringing the water main to your place on the street.

One disadvantage is that in late summer you could pull sand with the water if you use too much at once, like for watering lawns or several people shower one after the other.

Some cities/counties have propsed putting meters on personal wells, and charging a tax per Cubic Foot used so the "no water bill" advantage will go away or at least be reduced.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Near Graham WA
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O.K., now I think I get the picture. Thanks so much for all the explanations!
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Lowlands
271 posts, read 771,656 times
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You guys are making having a well sound like such an expensive problem.

Wells provide better water than city water supplies and contain no nasty chemicals.

There are no fees for having a well. Most places where you have a well are unlikely ever to be connected to a city supply unless its a dense housing area.

There isn't a water bill, but you have account for any maintenance costs, usually very little.

Clean chlorine free water!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
1,477 posts, read 2,432,628 times
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Agreed with the above however if you are a novice to drilling a well I will give the example. Over 20 years ago at Mt Rainier I bugeted for 65ft well. They hit water at 30 ft I told them to go to 65 ft to see if get more than ground water. Went back to town for open house next day they called and said they were at 200 ft without water. Not in the budget. Hit water at 208ft artisain but not what I was wanting budget wise. Even being artisian well crystal blue water it had something in it needing purifacation.

Stay on property when doing a well and it is I believe way better than a subdivision system but also make sure no one is looking at a development near you as you will be made to hook up to system even after your expense.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Near Graham WA
1,141 posts, read 1,282,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwcountrygal View Post
Agreed with the above however if you are a novice to drilling a well I will give the example. Over 20 years ago at Mt Rainier I bugeted for 65ft well. They hit water at 30 ft I told them to go to 65 ft to see if get more than ground water. Went back to town for open house next day they called and said they were at 200 ft without water. Not in the budget. Hit water at 208ft artisain but not what I was wanting budget wise. Even being artisian well crystal blue water it had something in it needing purifacation.
Stay on property when doing a well and it is I believe way better than a subdivision system but also make sure no one is looking at a development near you as you will be made to hook up to system even after your expense.
Can you tell me why you think a well is better than a community system? From your post, it sounded like an individual well could cause some financial problems...
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