Buying a new home with a well? It is important to know a handful of key things when purchasing a home that already uses a well system. Well water can be healthy and great-tasting, but as the homeowner, it can also be a great responsibility. Here are some questions you should ask before you plan on getting your water from a well.
Before buying the home, you should test the well water to find out if it is contaminated. Some local laws require the seller to test the well before selling the home, but you may have to test the water yourself in other locations. If the seller or real estate agent tested the water, find out what contaminants they tested for. The EPA has a complete list of contaminants you may find in well water.
If you are looking for a home in a particular community, find out what common problems community members face with their wells. Knowing what problems you might expect can help you discuss what has been done to prevent or alleviate issues with the realty company or seller.
Will the well provide enough water for your household? Find the well capacity and measure the flow rate. For most families, 100 to 120 gallons should be an adequate capacity. The flow rate should not be lower than 3 to 5 gallons per minute.
Ask the seller or real estate agent how old the well is. Most wells last 30 to 50 years, so a well older than 30 years, may need replacement sooner than you expect. An old well will need more attention, especially if it has been unused for a long time. Older wells are more shallow due to being dug or bored, which can lead to contamination.
Wells dug close to the septic tank are rare, but it is something you should look out for when buying a home. Wells must be at least 100 feet away from the septic tank to prevent contamination.
Well caps should be above ground level or uphill to avoid contaminating the groundwater. If the well cap is lower than it should be, it can be raised above ground.