Buying a House in Dutchess County NY- Water and Wastewater concerns - Part 5

Real Estate Broker/Owner with JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 10491201242

Buying a House in Dutchess County  NY- Water and Wastewater concerns - Part 5

If you are buying a house in Dutchess County, it is worth noting where your water comes from and how the waste water is disposed of.

Some of my past clients were adamant at first that they did not want a property with a well or septic sytem; however with a better understanding of these systems they overcame their initial concerns.well pump

In Dutchess County you will find municipal water and sewer mostly in the villages and cities.  Some towns have one but not the other.  Large  subdivisions will build their own private water and sewer systems; and individual homeowner in some areas will have a well and a septic system.

When you start looking for a home the type of water and waste water system will be clearly indicated on the property listing sheet.

If you purchase your home in an area where there is municipal water and sewer you will receive a bill for this service.  A water meter will be installed to provide the water usage reading for billing purposes.  If there is a dramatic change in meter reading that could be an indication that you have a water leak.

A large portion of Dutchess County rely on individual well and septic so I will spend a few minutes addressing these.

The Basics of a well

  • A well is a means of getting ground water for drinking, this can be achieved by drilling a hole until you hit a water source.
  • To get the water to the house you will need a well pump.
  • When installing a well you will need Board of Health approval to ensure the proper placement of the well  so as to avoid contamination if a septic system well also be installed.
  • When configuring the location of the well,  consideration has to be given also to the location of well and septic on the adjoining properties.
  • You should test your well yearly to make sure there is no contamination, this should be viewed as maintenance.   Keep in mind the municipalities also constantly check the municipal supply to make sure it is safe for drinking.
  • If the test reveal some contamination you will want to disinfect the water.
  • In some town in Dutchess there is mandatory well testing when a house is being sold.
  • If you are getting a mortgage a well test will be required.

Septic System

  • The septic sytem requires planning and Board of Health input before it can be installed and final inspection before a certificate of occupancy will be issued for the house.
  • Like the well,  the septic system will require maintenance, depending on usage should be pumped out every 3-4 years.
  • If you were thinking of buying land to build a house, you might find a cheaper lot but it might not perk well and could require trucking in fill or doing a raised septic which could be very costly.

The main thing to keep in mind is that both  wells and septic systems work very well if properly installed and maintained and is used by many throughout  the US.

In Dutchess County if you venture outside of the villages and cities it is  likely you will be using a well and a septic system. 


Cliff Treyens - Public Awareness Director for the National Groundwater Association read my Blog and wanted to share another useful resource

Other Posts on Dutchess County

Buying a house in Dutchess County NY - Tell me about the taxes  part 4

 Buying a house in Dutchess County NY - Do you need Privacy?  Part 3

Buying a house in Dutchess County NY - Where will you work?  Part 2

Buying a house in Dutchess County - What you should know -Part 1


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 Copyright © by Jennifer Fivelsdal, all rights reserved-  Buying a House in Dutchess County  NY- Water and Wastewater concerns - Part 5      


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dutchess county wells septic and water

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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Hi Jennifer -- this is a very good post... being a city girl, I didn't know a lot about wells and septics until I moved to the east coast.  It is a whole new world.

Aug 23, 2009 04:04 PM #1
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Joan it certainly is, and can be a bit overwheming for someone from the city.

Aug 23, 2009 04:07 PM #2
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jennifer, these are often the most difficult hurdles for a buyer to get over. Especially that coliform bacteria in the water thing.

I will never forget selling a luxury home to a wonderful couple from a desert country. They lived in the city there, with city water/sewer. During the inspections, both the septic and home inspector were together with my clients. I heard one of the best explanations for a septic to a city slicker..

"Nothing goes into the septic that hasn't been eaten first".

Aug 23, 2009 11:22 PM #3
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Jennifer, I was only a bit familiar with wells and septic systems and wouldn't have know anything about them if I hadn't read this post.  It may come in handy one day not only for me bot for anyone in Dutchess County or elsewhere who isn't familiar with them either.  Thanks for the information.

Aug 24, 2009 12:17 AM #4
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Jennifer, I hear this all the time here. Only the cities have public water. The small villages and communities use Well and Septic Systems. Heck I have had a well and septic for 15 years now. No problems at all. Just follow the guidelines.

If a buyer insists on the city water they get higher taxes and a smaller lot.

Only the lots on Well and Septic are 1 Ac.

I may reblog this in a few days for Washtenaw County folks.

Aug 24, 2009 12:23 AM #5
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jennifer, this is very detail, and valuable information for anyone buy a house with a well and septic.

Aug 24, 2009 01:43 PM #6
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner

This is an excellent series.

You are really doing a fine job!

your friend in Charlottesville Virginia!

Aug 24, 2009 11:55 PM #7
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Well and Septic are rare here but this is an EXCELLENT tutorial should I find myself running into one of those types of properties!

Aug 26, 2009 07:46 AM #8
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Andrea I love explanation the inspector gave.  And it is very true that the hurdles can be overcome with some good explanation.

Carole - The beauty of AR is that we all have something to share and this is a great forum to do so.

Missy - Septic and wells work find with proper installation and maintenance.  Thank you, I am honored you would reblog this.

George It is my belief if these issue are addressed upfront  the buying process will go much better, my hope is that the information will be helpful

Charles - Thank you

Renee - Sound like this might never be an issue for you, however if you run across wells and septic you will know how to handle the situation.

Aug 26, 2009 01:28 PM #9
Kim Sellers
Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow

Jennifer, what a great series you have on taking care of a home... so helpful to home buyers and sellers.

Aug 27, 2009 12:57 AM #10
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