House Hunting Concerns With Well

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dowse
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House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:11 pm

Hoping to tap the collective wisdom of fellow bogleheads here.

My son and daughter-in-law are house-hunting as first-time home buyers. They found a 4BR, 2-1/2 bath house they like very much and are trying to decide whether to proceed. They were able to obtain some septic and well permit documents for the house from the local city. The well permit showed a depth of 365 ft. with a yield of 2 gpm. Water quality tests were clean. The yield gives me pause. Although I don't know much about wells, the number seemed low to me, so I researched it. Articles I found indicate that the yield ought to be at least 3 gpm. The house does appear to have a standard pressure tank system, but I don't know it's capacity. I've suggested that they try and get more info on it if they can, and they are trying. I've also suggested a contingency based on an inspection and/or test. If the seller won't agree, then that would be a red flag to me. I'm torn as to how to advise them, as I don't want to them to miss out on a great house due to something that may not be a big deal, on the other hand, I think issues with wells can be a nightmare, and I don't want to see them move in only to immediately find that it is inadequate. I'd appreciate any thoughts.

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MP123
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by MP123 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:27 pm

What state or location is this?

I'd agree that 2 gpm is pretty low. 365 feet would be pretty deep in some areas and about normal in others, that can be an indication of how much water is available. You might see if your state maintains a database of wells online (mine does). Then you could check the surrounding neighbors and see what their situation is. Is this a new build or has it been occupied for a while?

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4nursebee
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by 4nursebee » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:38 pm

Seems low but best bet would be for THEM to talk to some locals, neighbors, plumbers, WELL DRILLERS.
4nursebee

dowse
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:41 pm

MP123 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:27 pm
What state or location is this?

I'd agree that 2 gpm is pretty low. 365 feet would be pretty deep in some areas and about normal in others, that can be an indication of how much water is available. You might see if your state maintains a database of wells online (mine does). Then you could check the surrounding neighbors and see what their situation is. Is this a new build or has it been occupied for a while?
This is in Chapel Hill, NC. The house was built in 1993. Will check to see if NC has a database.

dowse
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:44 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:38 pm
Seems low but best bet would be for THEM to talk to some locals, neighbors, plumbers, WELL DRILLERS.
Good idea. They have a call in to a local well driller. Talking to neighbors would be a good thing to do, too. They have a buyer's RE agent who is trying to help. One problem is that they have to travel about 800 miles to see it. This is a company-paid relocation, and several house-hunting trips are covered, but they don't want to waste a trip.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:59 pm

I’m no expert but isn’t this an unusually low number? We sold our home a few years ago and the flow test returned in excess of 10gpm.

Some background: When the buyer’s inspection was done, report said they could not complete flow test due to water tank not working properly (although we were getting water so we didn’t notice it prior to this). We were willing to replace the tank but our own realtor who sold us the home 20 years ago and I trust completely made it perfectly clear that unless a satisfactory flow test can be completed, no buyer would agree to purchase the house. Complete non-starter. So we held our breath and had a flow test done at our expense after the tank was replaced. Thankfully, it passed with flying colors.

Moral of the story: As a buyer, I’d find out for sure what an acceptable number is and walk away if it’s lower.

cadreamer2015
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by cadreamer2015 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:39 pm

The deeper the well the lower the required flow rate. Searching the web for data I found a New Hampshire state document that says for a 360 foot deep well the minimum required flow rate is 1gpm and the optimum flow rate is 2gpm or greater. So this well may be perfectly sufficient.
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dowse
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:28 pm

cadreamer2015 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:39 pm
The deeper the well the lower the required flow rate. Searching the web for data I found a New Hampshire state document that says for a 360 foot deep well the minimum required flow rate is 1gpm and the optimum flow rate is 2gpm or greater. So this well may be perfectly sufficient.
That's interesting. That's the first time I've heard that a lower flow is ok for a deeper well. That's puzzling, as I would have thought that the bottom line is flow rate regardless of depth. I wonder how this varies with local conditions. Do you have a link you could share?

A friend of mine in MA had a 20 ft. well dry up. He had a new one drilled and got 1 gpm at 460 ft. He then had it hydro-fracked, which got the yield up to 10 gpm. Trouble is, he has arsenic and unwanted minerals in the water. I don't know how he is dealing with that.

malabargold
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by malabargold » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:32 pm

What about H2O quality
E. Coli. the only thing tested??

nyjetfan
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by nyjetfan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:37 pm

I had a house with a well in southern Chapel Hill (Chatham County) and it was 360 feet deep with 9 gallons per minute refill rate.

Any way to find out what the original well was putting out as Id be concerned if it has gone down much over the years. It could have been 5 gallons per minute or more when originally drilled and slowly seeing water table sink.

Also is there no city water nearby that they could possibly tap into and if so what would that cost to connect to as a plan B if well stops meeting water needs.

One other item is family growth as Id expect a couple to use less water than a family of 4 especially with the amount of water my daughter uses in a shower.

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Sandtrap
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:42 pm

1
It's not just the depth of the well but the depth of the well "beyond" the depth of the water table. IE: strike water at 300 feet and the well depth (pump depth) is 60 feet, or what?
2
3 gpm might be good or average for that area. Talk to neighbors and/or call the local well drillers and speak to them. The realtor can also do this research. They are motivated. They want to sell the home. Put them to work gettin the info you need, too.
3
2-3 gpm is almost at a rate, if it fluctuates, where a backup tank might be needed depending on use.
4
If the water table in the area is slowly dropping, in the future, the existing depth might not be enough. So check.
5
Well drilling is very very pricey. Check everything.

A friend lives about 5 miles up the road toward the mountains. 4 years after building his home he had well problems. Very low output. Drilled 1600 feet but no water. Another one in different location at 1300 feet and hit water. Cost = 80k :shock:

I live over a very large aquifer. 300 feet well. water is pure. Output is unlimited based on the size of my pump. Has been tested up to 20 gpm but was told by the drillers that it was nearly unlimited. Large crop "pivot"s a mile away irrigate like crazy. I got lucky.
Prior home in the mountains had only 2 gpm so we had a 2000 gallon backup tank installed and it was okay, but worrisome.

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Watty
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by Watty » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:42 pm

They also need to check with their lender about what requirements they have for houses with wells.

A quick seach found this;
There are suggested minimum flow rates for domestic household use and some banks will want to see a minimum flow rate to provide a mortgage. It ranges from 3 to 5 gallons per minute.
https://eadeswelldrilling.com/water-wel ... d-answers/

Even if they can get a loan now I would be concerned that this might be an issue when they eventually sell the house and the next buyer needs to get a mortgage.

Also check on home insurance cost since not being near a good source of water if there is a fire could make that expensive.
Last edited by Watty on Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mhadden1
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by mhadden1 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:44 pm

I bought a rural house in 1990 that was on a well. I ended up with an FHA loan that required a hook-up to the available county water, which up to then I did not realize was there. I was cool with that, even though it was a pretty significant expense and I think I paid it all.

If public water is available I would consider getting it, not sure if you are certain about availability. With public water you might still use the well for non-potable purposes, pool/garden etc.
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tomd37
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by tomd37 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:48 pm

dowse - would you care to share the name of the subdivision in CH as I formerly lived there in a subdivision that had community wells serving it. Also had septic tanks there.
Tom D.

dowse
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:55 pm

tomd37 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:48 pm
dowse - would you care to share the name of the subdivision in CH as I formerly lived there in a subdivision that had community wells serving it. Also had septic tanks there.
Sent you a PM.

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4nursebee
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by 4nursebee » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:08 pm

Size of pipe also pertinent.
Perhaps the screen could be washed out also.
Are there any ongoing mining concerns?
There is more specific and well specific data.
Pump curve, and something to do with "head"
There are also public databases with well data, I could see some wells near me that got 20 GPM.
4nursebee

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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by carolinaman » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:18 am

2 gpm is low. We dug 300 ft well and got 4 gpm which contractor said was about the minimum needed. My wife and I had young children and raised them in that house. We learned that we could not have too many water activities concurrent or back to back or would temporarily run out of water. After about 10 years, we put a submersible pump in at 200 ft level which helped a lot. However, we still had issues. The biggest issue was we lost our prime one time due to gravel clogging the hole. It cost $2,000 to re-drill the hole. We also had to replace filters once a month. I was the only person who would drink well water. Every one else drank bottled water and DW used bottled water for cooking.

Finally after 20 plus years of the well, we were able to connect to water utility. That was a great day and I never want to go back to well water.

Is water from a utility available? If so, I would consider that. Otherwise, I would pass on this house. IMO, there are just too many potential issues and inconveniences with such low water pressure.

clutchied
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by clutchied » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:39 am

live in SW Ohio and have an 87 ft. well with 20ft. of water in the casing. It was tested @ 5gpm for an hour and probably could yield more.

2gpm is low but there are ways to deal with that. You could get a very large pressure tank so you have less regen. I probably wouldn't advise a cycle stop valve at that rate though.


It's one of those things where you might not want to deal with it...

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fishandgolf
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by fishandgolf » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:18 am

Let me share my well story............it’s a WELL NIGHTMARE……… :(

We moved into our house in December 2001. The following summer I was watering the flowers (running the outside faucet steady for ~15 minutes). Inside the house I noticed discolored water when running the faucet. After a few days I finally contacted the well drilled, only to learn that we had a very low recovery rate…..2 gpm…..well depth was 182 ft. What we learned was the aquifer had a very low water table….running the water steady would deplete the immediate water source, causing the pump to bring up sediment and sand grit..….which plugged all the faucets and caused issues with the pressure tank, water softener and dishwasher. We were unable to run two appliances or the shower at the same time. Very disappointed, but knowing the cost to drill a new well was ~$30K…..we acclimated our life style to deal with this annoying situation. :x

Fast forward to March 2014 (Wisc.). We had a very unusual 80+ degree temps for 2-3 consecutive days; this caused a rapid snow melt off and pulled the frost from the ground. One evening I jumped into the shower and turned on the faucet and OMG……there was a very strong and obnoxious odor…. it was manure…..yes manure :shock: . It was almost like the faucet moo’ed when it was turned on…………My wife and I were in SHOCK… :shock:

Due to the rapid melt off, the ground split open in a nearby farm field which caused manure to wash into the aquifer. Our well water was tested and contaminated with e-coli; same thing happened to a few of our neighbors.

Long story short, we ended up having to drill a new shared well with two nearby neighbors. Total cost was $75,000.00 which was split three ways.
In the end, we had no recourse. After numerous discussions with several attorneys, we were unable to receive any recovery of our expenses. Life has many twists and turns……stay positive and keep smiling……… 8-)

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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am

I'm a civil engineer with a water resources specialty, but no residential well experience. Your county or state should have a database of well permits/data. Those locations should be identified on a GIS map, so I would go to the website and find as much data as you can on wells that are near the location of this house, and compare depths, etc. In many locations around the country, groundwater elevations are decreasing due to increased water usage and climate change. Its possible that you may need to drill a deeper well in the future.

mrb09
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by mrb09 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:46 am

We're on a spring. Flows well but only a few gallons a minute during the summer. Before we moved our holding tanks uphill for gravity feed downhill to the house, we had a 1500 gallon holding tank level with the house, with an auxiliary pump. The (downhill) spring pumped into the tank, and the auxiliary pump pumped from the tank to the house.

If we did have well problems (and you will) at least this way we had 1500 gallons to use until the well gets fixed. Also if the power's out, we only had to worry about running a 15A 110V pump from tank to house instead of the 30A 220V pump to tank or house.

Now we have two 2500 gallon tanks as reserve. We have horses, so a big deal to run out of water.

If you try and just a use a 30 gallon "blue" pressure tank for your water at 2 GPM, you'll be waiting a while between showers.

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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:40 pm

Here are some links as requested by the OP.

https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/10/144/144c232.doc
https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/com ... gb-1-8.pdf

One source (Maine) states that each foot of well depth holds about 1 1/2 gallons of water in the well itself. They calculate that the well will fill with water to 25' from the surface, so a 365 foot well will hold 510 gallons.

The New Hampshire document has the table, below, which is designed to provide 960 gallons of water over a 4 hour period:

Table 2. Supply 960 gallons in Four Hours
Sustained Well Yield (GPM) Required Well Depth (Ft)
0.5 600
1 520
1.5 440
2 360
2.5 280
3 200
3.5 120

(sorry for the formatting, but the table shows that 2 gpm in a 360 foot deep well into bedrock will supply 960 gallons over a 4 hour period)

Comments from others suggesting that the OP talk to well drillers in the area make a lot of sense. There is also probably a NC state regulation on water wells.
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dowse
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:27 pm

cadreamer2015 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:40 pm
Here are some links as requested by the OP.

https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/10/144/144c232.doc
https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/com ... gb-1-8.pdf

One source (Maine) states that each foot of well depth holds about 1 1/2 gallons of water in the well itself. They calculate that the well will fill with water to 25' from the surface, so a 365 foot well will hold 510 gallons.

The New Hampshire document has the table, below, which is designed to provide 960 gallons of water over a 4 hour period:

Table 2. Supply 960 gallons in Four Hours
Sustained Well Yield (GPM) Required Well Depth (Ft)
0.5 600
1 520
1.5 440
2 360
2.5 280
3 200
3.5 120

(sorry for the formatting, but the table shows that 2 gpm in a 360 foot deep well into bedrock will supply 960 gallons over a 4 hour period)

Comments from others suggesting that the OP talk to well drillers in the area make a lot of sense. There is also probably a NC state regulation on water wells.
Thanks for those links. Very helpful. I'm still struggling to understand why a deeper well means a lower yield is required. Perhaps a better recovery rate? Anyone?

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MP123
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by MP123 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:45 pm

I think the idea from those websites is that the well itself holds water and the deeper the well the more water it holds which can be used to satisfy a drawdown for a limited amount of time even with a slow refill rate. Their flow rates are only for a few hours though at which point the well is exhausted and needs to refill.

But it seems to me that much would depend on the depth of the pump in the well casing and the height of the water table in the area. Maybe in the Eastern US with relatively high water tables that might work. There aren't many places in the West where a well would fill to 25' from the surface though.

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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by ThriftyPhD » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:05 pm

dowse wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:27 pm
cadreamer2015 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:40 pm
Here are some links as requested by the OP.

https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/10/144/144c232.doc
https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/com ... gb-1-8.pdf

One source (Maine) states that each foot of well depth holds about 1 1/2 gallons of water in the well itself. They calculate that the well will fill with water to 25' from the surface, so a 365 foot well will hold 510 gallons.

The New Hampshire document has the table, below, which is designed to provide 960 gallons of water over a 4 hour period:

Table 2. Supply 960 gallons in Four Hours
Sustained Well Yield (GPM) Required Well Depth (Ft)
0.5 600
1 520
1.5 440
2 360
2.5 280
3 200
3.5 120

(sorry for the formatting, but the table shows that 2 gpm in a 360 foot deep well into bedrock will supply 960 gallons over a 4 hour period)

Comments from others suggesting that the OP talk to well drillers in the area make a lot of sense. There is also probably a NC state regulation on water wells.
Thanks for those links. Very helpful. I'm still struggling to understand why a deeper well means a lower yield is required. Perhaps a better recovery rate? Anyone?
My understanding is that the deeper the well, the more water stored in the casing. Depending on the diameter of the well, this can be ~ 1.5 gallons/foot. The deeper the well, and the higher the static head, the more water already in the system. Generally you're not going to let the water flow 5 gallons per minute 24 hours per day. You're going to use it to do laundry, shower, flush, wash, etc. But there will be times when you're sleeping or out of the house, which gives the well time to recover.

So since a deep well has a lot more water already in it, the recovery rate can be lower since it has a big reserve. A shallow well with no reserve would need a much higher flow rate, with the shortest wells needing to have a flow rate higher than your maximum household usage.

cadreamer2015
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:06 pm

The reason a deeper well requires a lower fill rate in gpm is based on the calculation that the maximum likely usage is 960 gallons in a 4 hour period. If there is ~500 gallons in the well because of its depth and the well fills at 2 gpm, then there will be 980 gallons available in a 4 hour period, 500 gallons sitting in the well at the beginning of the 4 hours and 480 gallons filling the well at 2 gpm. If you only had a 100 foot deep well you'd only have ~ 110 gallons in the well, and you'd only have 580 gallons available in a 4 hour period. In essence the deeper well provides an extra water storage capacity beyond what's in your pressure tank.

I am not a well driller, but this is what I've been given to understand by our well driller when we drilled our well a few years ago. As others have written much depends on local conditions.
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cadreamer2015
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:07 pm

De gustibus non est disputandum

Yooper
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by Yooper » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:18 pm

Every time I try to read this thread my brain short circuits.

Subject concerns "water". Original poster named "Dowse". If their avatar was a forked stick I'd probably lose consciousness....

dowse
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:07 pm

OK, it's starting to make some sense to me. Thanks to those who have explained further.

Info from the permit, dated in Oct. '93:

Type: Drilled
Size: 6 in.
Grout: sand mix
Yield: 2 gpm
Depth: 365 ft.
Case depth: 42 ft.
Level: 18 ft.
Water Zone: 315 ft.

I don't know the significance of the case depth, level and water zone. Perhaps someone could comment.

And yes, it is a funny coincidence between my user name and the subject matter. No forked stick here, only forked tongue perhaps!

Yooper
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by Yooper » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:19 pm

Case depth refers to how far the protective casing (used to be metal here but now it's PVC) goes down into the ground. Well depth is the actual depth of the well (where they stopped drilling). Not sure about "level" or "water zone", although water zone might refer to where water was first hit.

whomever
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by whomever » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:32 pm

Never been on a well, but IIRC I had a friend whose well yielded 0.5 GPM.

If you want to feed a 5 GPM shower head, then either your well needs to yield 5 GPM or you need water stored - in the well or in a tank. But 0.5 GPM is over 20K gallons per month. A short google found that the typical single family house in Miami uses just under 6K gallons a month.

In my friend's case, two houses shared the 0.5 GPM well. The well fed a ??1000?? gallon tank that fed the houses. This was entirely adequate for their situation, which didn't involve a lot of irrigation.

In any event, I think the take home message is that low flow rates work with enough storage.

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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by heyyou » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:58 pm

My story is similar to above, low flow well (half gallon per minute) with very small pump that runs for long periods to fill a 2000 gallon storage tank on the surface.
I would shop for a different house, knowing that water well is why that attractive house is still available, probably none of the locals are interested in buying it. Well malfunctions can be repaired, but in general, low flow does not get better over time. Yes, it may not worsen on deep wells.

dowse
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:12 am

Well, it looks like the issue may have become moot with respect to this house. Word was received that an offer is in hand from another buyer. Of course, it could be rejected or fall through. Anyway, this has been a very educational thread. Let me summarize what I have learned, and please critique and correct my understanding.

In general, yields should be at least 3 gpm, although 2 gpm or even less can be tolerable if the well is deep enough. For a well of this depth, 365 ft., 2 gpm would probably be tolerable as long as water usage was reasonably well distributed over time. No way to know for sure without living there.

What I hadn't realized is that when a well is drilled, you are not necessarily tapping into a standing underground pool, you are relying on seepage and flow through voids in rock and soil. A reserve "pool" is created by boring a column, and once water is found, that column fills up with water flowing into it. It rises up to some stable level until pumped. That's what I think is the meaning of "level" on the permit. I'm thinking that the "water zone" 315 ft. on the permit refers to the depth at which water was first found. For safety and reliability, and perhaps to get to 2 gpm, the drilling continued for another 30 ft. What I didn't mention is that this house also has a pool. I'm thinking there is no way they would have filled that pool from their well. They must have had pool water brought in by tanker truck.

Thanks to all who contributed to the discussion.

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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by mancich » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:00 am

We have a 400' well that gets something like 12gpm. Just replaced the well pump (about $2,000), and the well tank in the basement will eventually have to be replaced too. We have never had an issue with water pressure or the well "drying up" or anything like that, but if I had it to do over again, I would have purchased a home with town water and sewer. Between periodic septic pumping, well pumps, well tanks, worrying about running too many loads of laundry at once, etc. I'd rather just pay a simply yearly water bill and be done with it.

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fishandgolf
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by fishandgolf » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:49 am

mancich wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:00 am
We have a 400' well that gets something like 12gpm. Just replaced the well pump (about $2,000), and the well tank in the basement will eventually have to be replaced too. We have never had an issue with water pressure or the well "drying up" or anything like that, but if I had it to do over again, I would have purchased a home with town water and sewer. Between periodic septic pumping, well pumps, well tanks, worrying about running too many loads of laundry at once, etc. I'd rather just pay a simply yearly water bill and be done with it.
+1/2

I agree with the headaches caused by the well.......too much worry, expense and just plain old PITA. :annoyed However, having said that, I really enjoy our location in the woods. I love the trees, the solitude and the wildlife; unlikely to get that with city life..... :sharebeer

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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by hicabob » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:03 am

mancich wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:00 am
We have a 400' well that gets something like 12gpm. Just replaced the well pump (about $2,000), and the well tank in the basement will eventually have to be replaced too. We have never had an issue with water pressure or the well "drying up" or anything like that, but if I had it to do over again, I would have purchased a home with town water and sewer. Between periodic septic pumping, well pumps, well tanks, worrying about running too many loads of laundry at once, etc. I'd rather just pay a simply yearly water bill and be done with it.
My buddy in San Diego who spends multiple hundreds/month on his water bill is jealous of my 240 foot 10gpm well. I wouldn't be surprised if a good well and decent septic system is cheaper than "town" sewer and water over 30 years or so. Besides my water tastes infinitely better than the local town's does.

pshonore
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by pshonore » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:37 am

Here's another data point. Most of rural Connecticut uses well water once you get more than 10 - 20 miles from a city center. I live on a street with about thirty or so houses all built in the 80's and all with wells from 150 to 400 feet deep. I've lived here 35 years and no one has had a problem with a well going dry or not producing enough water. Probably has something to do with geologic conditions and aquifers in the area. Now some older house have shallow dug wells. That can be a problem during a drought. Sometimes well water requires a softener to remove minerals. And one big advantage of city water is its usually not lost if the power goes out. We're in the midst of our third Nor'easter in twelve days as I write this but the power is still on.

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flossy21
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Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 2:04 pm

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by flossy21 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:55 am

I recently saw an episode of "Ask This Old House" where a couple discovered Radon Gas in their Well Water and had to install a system to mitigate the Radon. I googled this issue and see that the CDC offers a website. See below for future reference.

If I bought a house with a well I'd insist on a Water Quality and Radon test.

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinki ... radon.html

WhyNotUs
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Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:26 pm

Is there anything in there about a pumping test. That is the most useful info IMO. They run the pump for a designated period of time (24 hrs around) and measure the impact on the aquifer. A 2 gpm well is not great but if it is reliable and matches the use pattern of the home or can match the use with some limited storage, then it can be okay. However, if the aquifer is not recovering then there is a larger problem and I would be factoring the cost of storage. If you call a local driller and give them the info that you have and any pumping test info that you can find, they can recommend whether to pay for a new pump test or not in due diligence.
dowse wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:07 pm
OK, it's starting to make some sense to me. Thanks to those who have explained further.

Info from the permit, dated in Oct. '93:

Type: Drilled
Size: 6 in.
Grout: sand mix
Yield: 2 gpm
Depth: 365 ft.
Case depth: 42 ft.
Level: 18 ft.
Water Zone: 315 ft.

I don't know the significance of the case depth, level and water zone. Perhaps someone could comment.

And yes, it is a funny coincidence between my user name and the subject matter. No forked stick here, only forked tongue perhaps!
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

pshonore
Posts: 6430
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by pshonore » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:44 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:26 pm
Is there anything in there about a pumping test. That is the most useful info IMO. They run the pump for a designated period of time (24 hrs around) and measure the impact on the aquifer. A 2 gpm well is not great but if it is reliable and matches the use pattern of the home or can match the use with some limited storage, then it can be okay. However, if the aquifer is not recovering then there is a larger problem and I would be factoring the cost of storage. If you call a local driller and give them the info that you have and any pumping test info that you can find, they can recommend whether to pay for a new pump test or not in due diligence.
dowse wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:07 pm
OK, it's starting to make some sense to me. Thanks to those who have explained further.

Info from the permit, dated in Oct. '93:

Type: Drilled
Size: 6 in.
Grout: sand mix
Yield: 2 gpm
Depth: 365 ft.
Case depth: 42 ft.
Level: 18 ft.
Water Zone: 315 ft.

I don't know the significance of the case depth, level and water zone. Perhaps someone could comment.

And yes, it is a funny coincidence between my user name and the subject matter. No forked stick here, only forked tongue perhaps!
Case depth usually means there was 42 ft of drilling to hit bedrock and steel casing was put in to that depth.

dowse
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by dowse » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:49 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:26 pm
Is there anything in there about a pumping test. That is the most useful info IMO. They run the pump for a designated period of time (24 hrs around) and measure the impact on the aquifer. A 2 gpm well is not great but if it is reliable and matches the use pattern of the home or can match the use with some limited storage, then it can be okay. However, if the aquifer is not recovering then there is a larger problem and I would be factoring the cost of storage. If you call a local driller and give them the info that you have and any pumping test info that you can find, they can recommend whether to pay for a new pump test or not in due diligence.
dowse wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:07 pm
OK, it's starting to make some sense to me. Thanks to those who have explained further.

Info from the permit, dated in Oct. '93:

Type: Drilled
Size: 6 in.
Grout: sand mix
Yield: 2 gpm
Depth: 365 ft.
Case depth: 42 ft.
Level: 18 ft.
Water Zone: 315 ft.

I don't know the significance of the case depth, level and water zone. Perhaps someone could comment.

And yes, it is a funny coincidence between my user name and the subject matter. No forked stick here, only forked tongue perhaps!

There is nothing about a pump test. Latest update is that my son was able to talk to a helpful local well contractor yesterday. Bottom line is that 2 gpm is typical for that area, and with that well depth, there should be adequate storage. He went over some calculations on what kind of usage the well could support based on the data in the permit. He recommended spreading out usage to some degree, but said that it should not be a deal-breaker on the house if they really like it. It may still be in play. Last we heard, the offer from another buyer hasn't been accepted or rejected.

WhyNotUs
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:38 am

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Post by WhyNotUs » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:42 am

A small point of jargon, in some places a pump test is literally that, making sure the that pump is operating properly. A pumping test is a test to see the impact of non-stop pumping on the water supply and quality.
dowse wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:49 pm
WhyNotUs wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:26 pm
Is there anything in there about a pumping test. That is the most useful info IMO. They run the pump for a designated period of time (24 hrs around) and measure the impact on the aquifer. A 2 gpm well is not great but if it is reliable and matches the use pattern of the home or can match the use with some limited storage, then it can be okay. However, if the aquifer is not recovering then there is a larger problem and I would be factoring the cost of storage. If you call a local driller and give them the info that you have and any pumping test info that you can find, they can recommend whether to pay for a new pump test or not in due diligence.
dowse wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:07 pm
OK, it's starting to make some sense to me. Thanks to those who have explained further.

Info from the permit, dated in Oct. '93:

Type: Drilled
Size: 6 in.
Grout: sand mix
Yield: 2 gpm
Depth: 365 ft.
Case depth: 42 ft.
Level: 18 ft.
Water Zone: 315 ft.

I don't know the significance of the case depth, level and water zone. Perhaps someone could comment.

And yes, it is a funny coincidence between my user name and the subject matter. No forked stick here, only forked tongue perhaps!

There is nothing about a pump test. Latest update is that my son was able to talk to a helpful local well contractor yesterday. Bottom line is that 2 gpm is typical for that area, and with that well depth, there should be adequate storage. He went over some calculations on what kind of usage the well could support based on the data in the permit. He recommended spreading out usage to some degree, but said that it should not be a deal-breaker on the house if they really like it. It may still be in play. Last we heard, the offer from another buyer hasn't been accepted or rejected.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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