Home Inspector with Border Home Inspections
I recently inspected an acreage that is nicely set up for horses. Knowing how sketchy the water is in the area I convinced the buyer to have a flow test done on the 30" bored well. As it turned out the well is only producing about 1/2 gallon per minute. This quantity of water obviously has been sufficient for the past 30 years but I would bet my bottom $ that the past inhabatants had to learn to conserve water. I personally know what it like to have a house full of company visit and to hear the water run like there is no end to it. The problem is you know the truth is that it will soon end if precautions are not taken but you don't want to be the meanie that tells the city folk to smarten up. From my experience I will say that you will very quickly become attached to YOUR water. It soon consumes your every thought and you need to be aware of the options you have. Here are a few; you can cut back of course and lay down the law- meanie! You can plan ahead by installing a cistern inside or out that can be slowly filled with well water or rain water or water from the city. You can drill another well if the local experienced well driller feels you will have a good chance of hitting a better supply. Overall you simply need to be ready to adjust your thinking about what water means to you. A low producing well should not deter you from buying that dream acreage unless you cannot deal with the responsibility that goes along with such a purchase. I. Feel that an acreage without an adequate supply of water should be priced accordingly. I have lots more to say about this topic so bring on the questions if you have any!

Comments (4)

Allen 2222
Austin, TX

What a well-timed post. I have a friend buying property in NC on well water. She's planning to test the flow before closing the deal for this very reason. She also found out the city will charge $18,000 for ACCESS to city water and sewer - actualy plumbing it in is extra.

Jul 17, 2011 07:01 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Aulden-excellent point to make sure your well is going to produce enough water four your needs is something that needs to be done during the feasibility period. Best.

Jul 17, 2011 08:04 AM
Daniel H. Fisher (704) 617-3544 - Charlotte, NC
MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC

Designing wellwater systems for low flow wells involves proper sizing of the bore and drilling to an adequate depth. Correct sizing of the pump, storage and pressure tank can compensate for lower flow systems.  Getting a big enough storage and pressure tank and using low flow plumbing fixtures usually can compensate for the lower flow.

But the price of the property should be offset by the cost to install an adequate system if one does not already exist.

Jul 17, 2011 10:08 AM
Aulden Reid
Border Home Inspections - Lloydminster, AB
Aulden Reid

Thanks for the replys,

I agree that a good design is best but often times the end result is not known until the well is dug and people end up dealing with what they get. Today we have much better technology to deal with the problems of low producing wells. My recommendation is to put a cistern in the basement that acts as a second resovoir. In this way the water level is known as it ca be seen in the tank and it usually is big enough to hold about a weeks worth of water. The water can be treated befor entering this tank as well if that is necessary. The drawbacks of this approach is that an second pump and pressure tank is needed and that costs $. Daniel is correct to say that the property costs should be offset if this needs to be done.


Jul 17, 2011 06:05 PM