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Old 10-31-2011, 11:52 PM
 
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We are looking at homes in Sarasota and would prefer a house which has public water/sewer but a well for irrigation and pool. We've seen quite a few homes which had a well but never connected it for irrigation. They use metered water for lawn and pool.

Is it possible to connect a disconnected well and get it working? Some homes were built in the 50-60's but are on metered water. If we purchased one of those homes, could we connect the well without having to dig a new one?

Appreciate any advice,

Jane
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,982,416 times
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You would probably need to have a water company come out to check to see if the pump is even still working. Most wells for irrigation only are not dug very deep. You would also need to contact Sarasota County Utilities to see if it is legal to reconnect a disconnected well in the area that you are looking in. There may be certain restrictions. Sarasota Utilities call center: 941-861-6790
Sarasota County Drinking Water
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,440,201 times
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Being the law abiding citizen that I am, I recommend you follow TamRE's recommendation of course. But, I would probably see if I could get the well running, I bet its fine, you may need to replace the pump and valves - if they haven't run in a while, they haven't been maintained and are probably not going to last if you manage to get them running. As long as you are using it for irrigation only, I don't think the county would have any issue with that.

If you did hook it up and run it for irrigation, and only watered on the days allowed (which you need to check on), no one would ever know, and you'd save $$. I'm surprised that when the water was hooked up to the public system the previous owner didn't hook up the well to the irrigation system in the first place.

***Important*** I would also make sure if you do do this, that you find where the irrigation system is connected to the water system in your house and totally disconnect that and cap it. You could face major issues if you have a cross contamination between your untreated well water and your potable drinking water. The County would have a major issue with that. So, if you do discuss it with them, make sure you inform them that you are going to totally disconnect the irrigation system from the water system in your house.

My brother uses a grey water system (public) in an area where he lives in cape coral and pays almost nothing for the water. I never heard of that anywhere else before. He hooked his irrigation system up to it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,549 posts, read 6,359,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big House View Post
My brother uses a grey water system (public) in an area where he lives in cape coral and pays almost nothing for the water. I never heard of that anywhere else before. He hooked his irrigation system up to it.
Palmetto has a similar system (as did St Pete did when we lived there).

I don't know if well disconnects were required, but I do know that you can't get a new well for irrigation if reclaimed is available at your address. It's a flat fee (less than $6 per month) for the service (even if you don't use it).
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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I have heard someone in the Sarasota county government deny a request to drill a well for irrigation claiming that it would be "stealing water from the county".
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Osprey
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Call a well man or a plumber. Your answers will need to be answered onsite, and may involve disassembly of the well and testing the water supply quality and volume available. Different areas will give different answers.

The County does not allow wells to be simply abandoned, it is supposed to be functional or plugged permanantly. There is probably a good reason why the previous owner did not use the well. Iron stains or dry well are the usual reasons.

There is reclaimed water in the city of Sarasota and they like people to connect to that when possible.

A house built in the 50's or 60's is common to have a 3" well and may not supply enough water to irrigate, and you have limitations to the type of pump you can use.

Just because it may have been drilled for irrigation doesn't mean it's not deep. 100' would be what I'd expect to see.

Has the house been on city water since it was built, or was it on the well originally?

What size is the well casing? Is there a pump connected now?

Bottom line, nobody can tell you the answer to your question without testing the well. If you are in the city look into the reclaimed water, it probably costs less than the power to run a pump.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:25 AM
 
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Thanks for the info. Most of the houses were built before City water was available. These are houses in the Gulf Gate areas, Phillipi Creek, homes built in the 50's, 60's. Some just connected to City water because they are forced to. So, I assume the wells worked fine all these years.

Some homes continue to use the well for pool water and irrigation. But there are many which do not use the well. I assume the wells must be closed off somehow. I wonder what the procedure is when homeowners connect to City water.

I guess I should contact the County Water office.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Osprey
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When a house is connected to the county most homeowners want to keep the sprinklers on the well. There is a reason if they choose/chose not to keep the irrigation connected to the well and it usually isn't good, dry well or saltwater intrusion are common reasons. As I said before, when you connect to the county the well and pump has to function or the well must be permanantly plugged(as in cemented closed). Today's rules (in sarasota County) require the Health Dept to test the water and make sure the casing is at the proper elevation (more cost and more time to connect and acquire the permit or permits)
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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Besides the legal issues you may not know that most well water in FL is either full of iron or has a horrible sulfur smell. If it is iron it will turn your house 'orange' if the water hits it and if it is sulfur it will stink unless you have a water conditioner on it.

We had a well in Hillsborough county and it turned everything red including my daughter's blonde hair
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:57 AM
 
16,915 posts, read 36,693,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
Besides the legal issues you may not know that most well water in FL is either full of iron or has a horrible sulfur smell. If it is iron it will turn your house 'orange' if the water hits it and if it is sulfur it will stink unless you have a water conditioner on it.

We had a well in Hillsborough county and it turned everything red including my daughter's blonde hair
This is very true. Even up in the hills of east Pasco where we lived, our deep well was our only source of water - it tasted great, and had no sulfur smell, but it turned EVERYTHING red after a time due to all the iron. We should have put filters, but the first well wasn't too bad. It got bad after we sold the first house and moved into a small cottage temporarily (we were making another move) and that well was really horrible.

Anyway, many years ago when we lived in Sarasota the first time I inquired about a well for irrigation and the city (or county) basically told me no, like one of the previous posters mentioned. They like to force you to pay.
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