Itâ€™s estimated that more than 13 million households rely on private wells for drinking water in the U.S. today. While city public water sources are generally tested and maintained, private well owners are mainly responsible for the safety of their drinking water. Theyâ€™re also responsible for the well itself, and this can make property transfers such as purchases more complicated.
If youâ€™re considering buying a property that has a private well, there are some questions you need to ask before you make your final decision.
Do you have the original well log?
The well log is a document containing necessary information on the history of the well, when it was dug and what the condition of the surrounding area was. Contractors are required to file well logs with their respective states upon completion of new wells. Well owners should keep a copy of the well log in case the need for maintenance arises, or the property is transferred.
Is it a drilled well?
The sellers should have paperwork outlining the details of the well. If it’s not drilled, what was the original method of construction? Is it up to current codes and regulations?
How long has the well been in service?
This can tell you what type of maintenance might be involved.
How deep is the well?
Look for this on your well log from the sellers. The depth of the well can also be determined by inspection by well professionals.
Has the well been inspected recently?
This will tell you the condition of the well and other pertinent information that could affect the property value. Sellers should have a record of all service, testing and preventative maintenance that has been performed on the well.
Has the water quality been tested?
The U.S. EPA recommends that wells be tested annually for contaminants, including fecal coliform levels, nitrates/nitrates, and chlorides. If you notice any change in the color, odor, or flavor of your water, have it tested by a professional.
In Connecticut, Accuracy Plus Home Inspections offers water quality testing as an additional service for added peace of mind. Call 203-284-1278 or visit our website to learn about inspection services that help protect your property purchase.