Existing Well Evaluation is a Must When Buying a New Home

A lot of people ask when buying a house if they should have the well evaluated and what the guidelines are for clean, safe-to-drink well water.

The answer is yes, and here is why:

When buying a home, a home inspection is usually done. Generally, there are no regulations as to the quality or quantity of the well, however, if you are purchasing through the FHA there are guidelines to follow. Many relocation companies and lending institutions are adopting these guidelines to help assure the buyer is not stuck with problems. 

For example, the requirements for a bedrock well is 5 gallons per minute for 4 hours and a specific list of testing parameters for quality: Total coliform (bacteria), sodium, conductivity, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, lead, ammonia, sodium, potassium, alkalinity, chloride, chlorine, color, turbidity, conductivity, hardness, nitrates, pH, turbidity, odor, sediments and sulfates. The quality test should be drawn from a raw source (before any filtration or treatment). Typically, most problems can be corrected with quality equipment and proper installation.

The quantity requirement is not so easily understood. As stated above the requirements for a bedrock well is 5 gallons per minute for 4 hours. What this really means is 1,200- gallons in 4 hours. This does not necessarily mean the well must produce 5 gallons per minute. A 6" drilled well stores approximately 1-1/2 gallons of water per foot, which is factored in. For example, a 500' well producing 2-1/2-gallons per minute will usually meet the guidelines, however, a 200' well that makes 2-1/2 gallons per minute will not.

While this may all seem complicated, it is relatively simple and Skillings & Sons, Inc. will answer any questions that you may have regarding these issues. Also, ask your lender if there are any requirements pertaining to your transaction so you are not told at the last minute that you need documentation that you do not have.