7 Rules for Buying a Home with a Well and Septic System
Good quality wells and septic systems are an essential component to buying your new home. Unfortunately, the home inspections rarely cover the quality and issues concerning water wells and septic tanks on the property.
Below is a list of quick observations and the reasons they might be a problem for a new owner. If you run into any issue on this list, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot purchase the home, but rather it will require further investigation or to factor the price of repair or replacement into an offer on a house.
1. The house must have 1-2 acres of land
If a property has a well and septic system and has less than 1 acres. Unfortunately, all systems fail at some moment in time, and the well is likely to be too close to the home’s own or the neighbor’s septic system. A leaky or overflowing septic will cause contamination in your water supply.
2. Do not buy a home with a dug or bored well
Properly drilled wells are more than 40 feet deep, typically more than 100. They have quality pipes, depth and bolted caps sticking above ground. If you see something other than this than the price of a new well will have to be included in the offer.
3. Water from the road, driveway, and downspouts should not drain towards the well
If the new home has a well that is being inundated with dirty and toxic runoff water, then the water inside the well will be directed affected. Wells should be situated on an even plane or uphill avoiding any settling water.
4. Date the well was drilled and septic tank installed, to see if any updates are required.
If the well was drilled before 1980 you must factor well and septic component replacements into the price or at least into your future budget. You should also be thinking about the costs and possibilities of total well replacement. While many wells will last decades, it is reported that 30 years is the average age of well failure. Older well pumps are more likely to leak lubricating oil or fail. Well casings are subject to corrosion, pitting and perforation.
Septic drainfields also have a limited life. The life of a septic drainfield is dependent on how the system is managed, the frequency of septic tank pump outs, and the number of people living in a house, but 20-30 years may be the life of those systems, too.
5. The well head must have a adequate surface seal in areas where domestic animals roam
Animals and their feces will undoubtedly pose a contamination risk to you and your family. If you see a home with a well in the midst of poo and pee walk away and never look back. If you are stuck on the home, then add the cost of replacing the well or septic into the offer price, if a properly drilled well is even possible.
6. When you make an offer on a house a satisfactory water test and a professional septic inspection should be included in your contingencies
Even if the water well and the septic appear to be in good working condition, a quality test should still be completed before your purchase. If you are unaware of your waters purity then it could easily effect your entire family’s health and no one would know the cause of their ailments.
Well water far outweighs city or municipal water quality even on its worst day. However, if left completely unchecked for years there could be changes near or on your property that is causing contamination. Annual water quality checks should be administered by the homeowner using test kits that are available in a local water store or online. If a problem does show up than call a professional for additional testing.
7. The septic system and water well should be separated by 100 feet as to not pose a contamination risk to the water supply
In the case where you see a septic tank very close to the properties water well, turn around and run! Below you will find a detailed answer to why this home is no good no matter what….
The solids, scum and grease that accumulate in the septic tank need to be pumped out and disposed of every few years. If not removed, these solids will eventually overflow the septic tank, accumulate in the drain field, and clog the pores in the soil and the openings in the pipes.
Effluent that leaks from sewer lines is generally untreated raw sewage. It may contain industrial waste chemicals. When leaking sewer lines are located deep underground below the biologically active portion of the soil, the sewage can enter groundwater directly. This can result in the introduction of chlorides, microorganisms, organics, trace metals and other chemicals that may cause disease and foul tastes or odors in drinking water
When this happens, which can happen at any point in time, your clean water well will inevitably become very contaminated.
Message From Our Team At www.AppleValleyWellDrilling.com
We hope this article will save you from a major purchasing disaster, and also bring to light health concerns of existing conditions on your own property.