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Old 02-23-2013, 09:29 AM
JLO JLO started this thread
 
86 posts, read 189,091 times
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Lake Travis is so low, it’s scary. I left Austin several years ago to move to Dallas. Now that we are moving back, I am concerned about where to buy a home. I have to decide where to live and water is a huge factor. Does anyone have an opinion on well water vs. city water in times of drought. Besides schools, water is my number one concern when buying a home. We have a choice between living in a modest part of Westlake on city water or heading out to Dripping Springs for acreage on a well. I prefer to be in the country after years of living in NYC. However, I am worried about having a well in times of drought. I've been advised to get a deep well. But deep wells go dry too. I’m also worried about city water restrictions as well. This isn't about watering my lawn. I don't want to water my lawn. I want to make sure we have drinking water and resale value in the home we choose.

Clearly, the drought situation is serious all over the country, but particularly in central TX. I see water storage tanks (rain water collection tanks) for sale all over Lake Travis. So here’s the question …

Is it safer to have city water or well water (assuming your well is deep and constructed correctly.)

And the rainwater tanks that are selling … are people buying bulk water and storing it on their property for everyday use or are they buying tanks in hopes of collecting rain water one day?

Also, has anyone in Dripping Springs had water well problems? And does Dripping Springs get their water from Lake Travis or their own well on an aquifer? Which aquifer serves Dripping Springs (Edwards or Trinity?)

I know Spicewood Beach ran out of water last year and had to have water trucked in. I also read Cedar Park and Leander were in danger of running out of water in March of 2012. Not sure how this was remedied. I’m hoping DS isn’t next. But one thing is clear … all of us need to conserve. Can anyone advise me on well water vs. city water so I can figure out where to live and what area is the safest investment in terms of water? Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 26,794,284 times
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It is smart to be thinking about water, but perhaps not necessary to be paranoid about it. I think the city would enact draconian rationing measures if the aquifer levels were dangerously low. In spite of huge droughts no one on municipal water except Spicewood Beach has run out of water. Their well is not deep enough.

I am on a well (drilled in 1990 or 1991). And I have not had any problems at all. I live in an area where most are served by wells and they have done well so far. Family nearby has had wells drilled as recently as two years ago.

Rainwater is not nearly as useful as some think it might be if you want it to serve your daily needs. You will need for more storage capacity than a few "barrels."

I think one thing that needs to change asap in the area is for HOAs to give up their lawn requirements. It is just arrogant that a homeowner should be forced to put in a lawn that requires huge amounts of water.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Austin
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I've sold a couple of properties with well, and they're dug to about 750 feet, so they're having no issues. I think it's going to be the depth of the well and how deep is it and the expense of making it deeper.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:50 PM
 
202 posts, read 232,663 times
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If you don't care about your lawn, live in Westlake off city water.

If you do want a nice green lawn year round and not worry about water restrictions, drill your well. You own the water rights under your property in Texas, correct me if I'm wrong.

People are drilling wells in Austin, but according to the news, they mainly drill to water their lawns....

Dripping Springs is just a bit too far for me, but maybe not for you. I lived in Westlake for over 4 years and decided I wanted an acreage and less light pollution and moved south to Oak Hill. Dripping Springs was just too far...
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:45 PM
 
Location: SW Austin & Wimberley
6,208 posts, read 16,021,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
It is smart to be thinking about water, but perhaps not necessary to be paranoid about it. ...
Ditto. Exactly my thoughts as I was reading.

Find the house you want, where you want, without worrying about water. Then, once you've narrowed it down, check into the water situation before making an offer, just to be reasonably certain that you are not in an area of any higher risk than any other. I wouldn't push it beyond that.

This may sound airy faerie, but I truly believe it's how life and karma work, but your level of concern causes me to think you now have a heightened chance, against all odds and no matter how hard you try to avoid it, of getting stuck without water someday. I believe that because, in life, when we try too hard, we get exactly that which we hope to avoid. Anecdotal evidence of this abounds.

Just go find a house you like. If you want to wear a belt AND suspenders with regard to water, consult someone about a rainwater tank to which trucked in water can always be provided in emergencies.

Good luck!!

Steve
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
565 posts, read 1,065,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLO View Post
So here’s the question …

Is it safer to have city water or well water (assuming your well is deep and constructed correctly.)
Water quality wise it is safer to have city water due to the fact that they constantly check and treat their water to govt standards. But a properly constructed well that passes a water sample test will be just fine. Make sure you get the well tested and also obtain all information on the well.

Quote:
Also, has anyone in Dripping Springs had water well problems? And does Dripping Springs get their water from Lake Travis or their own well on an aquifer? Which aquifer serves Dripping Springs (Edwards or Trinity?)
Many wells have gone dry in northern Hays County. Mainly shallower wells though. Dripping Springs receives their water from the LCRA and also from groundwater wells. The aquifer in hays county is called the Trinity aquifer. The 3 main zones of the aquifer are broken up into the upper, middle, and lower trinity aquifers. You may be fine with completing a well through the middle trinity, but may need to go to the lower trinity. The lower trinity is generally poorer quality. Chances are the place you buy will already have a well, make sure that it is in the cow creek formation of the middle trinity at a minimum. Anything shallower is a huge risk.
Quote:
I know Spicewood Beach ran out of water last year and had to have water trucked in. I also read Cedar Park and Leander were in danger of running out of water in March of 2012. Not sure how this was remedied. I’m hoping DS isn’t next. But one thing is clear … all of us need to conserve. Can anyone advise me on well water vs. city water so I can figure out where to live and what area is the safest investment in terms of water? Thanks.
Spicewood beach has shallow wells completed in the river alluvium...not wise or reliable. I think Leander and CP main issue was their intake on Lake Travis. The groundwater availibility in that area is poor at best.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:46 PM
JLO JLO started this thread
 
86 posts, read 189,091 times
Reputation: 95
Thank you for the information everyone. Thank you especially, die Eichkatze. You gave me some great information to work with. Thanks again.
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