Buying Land: How deep will my well be?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with 406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty RRE-BRO-LIC-75443

If you are planning to purchase land for a future home or hunting cabin, you may want water! If your land is in the city of Kalispell, you will likely have access to city water. If, however, you are out of town on more rural land, you may need to dig a well. Often the question that is asked is, "How deep will my well be?" And here's the answer.

 

The answer is, "There's no way to know for sure until it's drilled!"

 

 

You will need to contact a Montana drilling company. They will come out, assess access and a possible drilling location and set up an appointment. Once they start drilling, they will note the type of material that they drill through. They will also measure how deep the drill is when water is hit. Usually they will drill a little further and then measure the water flow. Then they provide a copy of the well log to you and you file it with the DNRC. That's it!

 

Well it's not really that simple.

 
Finding about other wells in the area

One thing you could do to give you some idea of what your well depth MIGHT be is to take a look at the well logs for homes near your property. You can access well logs at Montana's Ground Water Information Center website. You'll need to set up a user ID (it's free), and then select "Well Data", then "Just Looking for a Well log". When you get the main menu, you can select "Wells-Brief" and then enter township, range and section which you can get from Montana Cadastral if you don't already know it. This will provide a list of all well logs that are available in the area, and if you select each one, you can see the well log information and figure out which ones might be close to you. You can also search for an address or street name using the second tab which may be easier. Please note, however, that this will just give you a ballpark for homes in the area. Your property may be different based upon your specific ground makeup.

 

Before you can start the well drilling process you will need to select a driller.

 
 
Selecting a driller.

If you are using a building contractor, most likely they will recommend the well driller that will be used to handle the job. If, however, you need to select one yourself, you could ask home owners in the area for their recommendations or do an online search. You can also use business related websites such as bbb.org or visit your local chamber website to see if they have any links to drillers. And of course you could ask your real estate professional for a recommendation. Once you have a name or two, check out their online ratings, call to interview and make a decision. At the time of this writing, costs for well drilling in the Kalispell MT area can be somewhere around $48/foot. (Additional costs not discussed in this post are the actual water pump, pressure tank and system.)

 
 
Providing access.

Those well drilling rigs are huge! They can be 40 feet long, 9 feet wide and heavy as four or five tons. Physical access to the property is the first area of concern. If your road is too narrow, too mushy, goes over a bridge that won't support the weight, or has any other physical access issues, the driller may not be able to access your property. You may need to make some improvements prior to the well drilling appointment.

 

Next, where do you want the well placed? Wherever that is, is it level enough and accessible enough for a big truck? Is it far enough away from the location of the septic system (which you'll probably need if you are too far for town services). In Flathead County, the distance between the well and septic must be at least 50' and between the well and septic absorption system must be 100' minimum.

 

Some people also believe another possible way to determine an appropriate well location is to use water dowsing, which is a method of determining location of water that has been in use for thousands of years but doesn't seem to have a scientific explanation. Some people swear by dowsing as a way to find water, and others think it's just crazy.

 
 
Actual drill process

Buying Land: How deep will my well be? screenshot of well lotDrilling could take just a few hours or perhaps days, depending upon ground and equipment. The driller will keep track of what kind of material he is finding and at what depth. For example, this screen shot shows a well where the first 12 feet were drilled through clay. They the driller went through three feet of boulder, then 23 feet of clay and gravel and then rock. They drilled through about 270 feet of rock in total, finding water about 25 feet before they stopped.

 

After getting through the clay, gravel and rock to reach the water, they then did a four hour test to see what kind of water flow was in existence. In this case, there was a flow rate of 30 gallons per minute. All of this information, as well as information about the size of the borehole, casing size, proposed use of well and exact location is entered into a Montana Well Log Report which is supplied to you.

 
 
Making water rights official

After you receive, you will need to complete and submit a Notice of Completion of Groundwater Development form to the DNRC, along with an application fee which is $125 at this time. This document is the one that provides your water rights. For more information about water rights, check the Department of Natural Resources & Conservation website.

 

For more information about purchasing land in Kalispell, click here. If you need any assistance with purchasing land, or have questions about the build process, feel free to call me (Kat) for more information. I'm at 406-270-3667 and my email address is kat@thehousekat.com.

 

Originally posted at thehousekat.com.

Posted by

Licensed Broker, CBR®

 

eXp Realty LLC

P.O. Box 10458

Kalispell, MT 59904

 

email: kat@thehousekat.com

www.thehousekat.com

 

406-270-3667 (MT)

 

facebook    Kat's Homes

 

 

Comments (52)

Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

We are planning to put in a second well on our property.  We are looking to purchase a windmill to power it.  The premier (and possibly only) U.S. manufacturer is Aeromotor in west Texas.  The major expense will be shipping it here!

Sep 12, 2021 03:14 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate  - Someone else just mentioned this company recently. If you remember, let me know what you think of the installation process, and the end product.

Sep 12, 2021 06:16 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Great information Kat. Here in Texas, putting in a well is complicated if you don't do your homework. This is an excellent post on important questions one must seek when buying land.

Sep 13, 2021 06:48 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you Dr. Paula McDonald !

Sep 13, 2021 09:00 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kat loved your post in my market the question is how deep will the Caissons be:)) they have to go to bedrock here due to earthquakes:)Endre

Sep 13, 2021 10:25 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I always wonder what I would buy if I had the means to buy something very good and very helpful to the community. :

Sep 13, 2021 10:39 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

thank you for caring the way you do and being so intricate about how you think about this kind of stuff Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Sep 13, 2021 10:40 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Endre Barath, Jr. I always find that interesting how they do things for the purposes of natural disasters and everything else that comes with the preparation

Sep 13, 2021 10:42 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Endre Barath, Jr. - we don't have any requirements for caissons per my knowledge, but I'll have to investigate!

Laura Cerrano - What kind of property are you thinking when you say something helpful to the community...  Just curious!

Sep 14, 2021 05:05 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kat I am sure in your market that is not an issue, unlike here in Earthquake Country:)Endre

Sep 14, 2021 04:31 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Endre Barath, Jr. - We're on an earthquake line as well, but they're mostly little tremors that we don't even know about.

Sep 14, 2021 06:34 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kat it reminded me 24+ years ago when we arrived in Los Angeles from Boston,MA and we just put our bags down and we had a 3.2 earthquake.... Diane asked What was that? I told her the upstairs people slammed their door:)) next day she goes to work and they welcomed her and asked how did you like your first Earthquake?:))))

Sep 14, 2021 09:23 PM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

Great post! We have many city dwellers moving to our area and they are unfamiliar with private water and septic systems. This is one for the SAVED files.

Sep 16, 2021 06:18 AM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel & Land Specialist

Well done Kat Palmiotti Very thorough report to educate many of us on the process.  How often would a home owner need to chek the water for lead content?  I had a 5 acres parcel under contract with well water and the report came back with high lead content.  Before obtaining the answer, the appraisal came in lower than sales price and buyer and seller could not reach a meeting of the minds😎 

Sep 16, 2021 07:22 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you Anne Corbin for taking the time to read, comment and bookmark! :-)

Sep 16, 2021 07:22 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kat Palmiotti ,

What an informative post! You have really been learning and researching your area and have become an expert..always searching for answers and never afraid to take the necessary steps to get them! Kudos to you!!

Sep 16, 2021 07:32 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Kat Palmiotti, I love that you are sharing all your learned knowledge. I have witnessed a seller who was able to find water. I do believe it is a gift.

A flow rate of 30 Gal sounds like a gusher. Curious to know what your area requires for a GPM. Here in Baltimore, our numbers are in the low single digits. Our county only requires a yield of 1.

Sep 18, 2021 08:06 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you so much for your comment, Dorie Dillard Austin TX !

Great question, Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 - I didn't know the answer so had to do a little research to answer it...  There doesn't appear to be a requirement for the state/county, but I did find out that most mortgage companies require a minimum of 5gpm. So I'm going to go with 5!

Sep 19, 2021 05:42 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I have only had that question once in my 21 years of selling land. I always bow to the professional Kat Palmiotti 

Oct 20, 2021 10:27 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - For some reason, a lot of people ask here!

Oct 20, 2021 01:42 PM