Weather you are a first time homeowner or this is just your first time purchasing a home with a drilled water well as the main water source there are 3 main tests that are imperative to preform to ensure you are protecting your investment. Home inspectors are phenomenal at inspecting all aspects of the structure and integrity of the home but much like septic systems water wells tend to be a grey area for them when it comes to detailed inspections. For over a decade Northeast Water Wells has been one of the leading Real Estate transfer inspectors across Massachusetts and New Hampshire and has been providing quality water well systems since 1966.
You have found your dream home with a water well generally speaking the functionality of the systems should be entirely the same. A common misconception is that when you own a water well you will not have as consistent water pressure as you would with city water however that is not the case it actually means something is terribly wrong with the mechanics or the design of the system if you do experience these issues. The purpose of preforming Real Estate Transfer testing on a private water supply such as a drilled well is to ensure that the water is safe, that there is adequate water flow for the homes needs and that the mechanics of the system can meet those demands and do not have any major deficits.
The first thing a Northeast Water Wells representative will inspect is the mechanics of the system to ensure that the submersible pump or jet pump and pressure tank are operating per manufactures specifications. The technician will note deficits and/or repairs needed as well as give an estimated age of the system. The technician will also notate all filtration systems present and physical conditions however the only way to ensure filtration is working properly would be to complete water quality testing which we will discuss later in this article. The integrity of the Well cap will be inspected next to insure that it is not compromised and provides a water tight seal to prevent surface water infiltration and contaminants from entering the well head. The water well technician will then remove the well cap and check the wells static water level ( The static water level is the level where the well naturally sits within the well when its not being used). Once the static water level has been recorded the technician will then run a water well flow verification test to determine what the well is producing in terms of GPM or Gallons per minute and what this test will tell us is weather or not the well is capable of producing what the home needs in terms of flow. The flow rate needed will fluctuate depending on the homes design and systems. For example a standard residential water well design typically needs 5 GPM or more however if the home has irrigation this rate should be closer to 10 – 12 Gpm to run seamlessly. Once the flow rate has been determined the technician will notate and explain the findings in detail. If the well fails its production testing the office will be notified and applicable quotes will be generated as to what the estimated costs would be for increasing production based on site accessibility. If a well fails the minimum flow requirements it would be at the buyers discretion if they want to hold of on water quality testing until negotiations can be made regarding rehabilitation of the wells water production as most of the rehabilitation options can change the well waters chemistry.
If the water well passes the mechanical and flow analysis the next step would be testing the water wells quality. Two packages have become increasingly popular for real estate transfer testing our Comprehensive package and our Extensive package. Both packages include testing organics, inorganic, arsenic, lead and radon however the extensive package takes things a step further to test for VOC’s or Volatile organics compounds which are typically recommended to be tested every 7-10 years by the EPA. The water quality testing is important to ensure that the water chemistry of the well is safe for drinking and that the well is potable it also ensures that any water filtration is working properly.
The average real estate transfer test for water wells typically runs $250.00 – $650 dollars depending on testing perimeters which may seem like a lot but not when you consider how costly rehabilitation on any aspect of a water well system can be. Well pumping system rehabilitation costs can vary from $250.00 for a basic tune up to upwards of $3000.00 for a new well pump and/ or tank install. Water Well Flow rehabilitation starts at $2500.00 and can run upwards of $12,000 depending on flow deficit and town permitting and requirements and Water filtration rehabilitation and installations can range anywhere from $200.00 to upwards of $7,000 dollars. We hope this blog came in handy in understanding the process and importance of Real Estate transfer testing for Wells In Massachusetts and New Hampshire if you are ready to schedule an inspection or have further questions please do not hesitate to call and speak with one of our qualified specialists today 1-800-562-9355