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Ohh, help! Ethical dilemma about our well.

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  • #61
    I would definitely not share, especially with having horses. Water is so sacred to our animals.

    That story of the neighbors running the well dry freaks me out. My road is known for bad or no water too, we are lucky that we have two wells that seem to run well. The horses well is excellent and I have not had any issues. The well for the house has water but has very bad sulphur. We ran out of water once when my idiot husband decided to fill the pool for 4 hours in the middle of a drought. The well did fill again over night (thankfully).

    It's your water, your land. They need to check these things out before purchasing. Too bad for them, but don't make it too bad for you.
    Boss Mare Eventing Blog
    https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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    • #62
      Absolutely not. Before you buy property you get a "perk test" and find out about available water supply. My husband and I have bought and built in 3 states and I would not share anything, too risky. Sorry, but "good fences make good neighbors" and that goes for sharing wells.
      RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

      "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

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      • #63
        I'm with the others, though late to the party .
        Do not share or allow an easement.

        I'm not going to give details, but I've dealt with shared water supplies and also dealt with easements related to water lines/water supply and both situations were an ugly mess.

        The thing is, so many negative things could happen that you can't predict. Maybe you will try to sell your property someday and an easement/shared well will reduce the salability and the value more than you think (I would not buy a property with this kind of an easement on it). Maybe they will sell their property and the new neighbors will be unreasonable litigious jerks who take advantage of the situation in ways you never imagined. What if they install an autowaterer and don't install the proper valve and your well is contaminated by back flow?
        Maybe there will be unexpected mechanical or line issues and you will come home from work one day and there will be machinery/dangerous trenches in the paddock with your horses. If you were to install a line, a valve and a meter and sell them water, would you really want the responsibility/hassle of checking the meter and billing someone every month? What would you do if they didn't pay? What if they don't maintain their lines and one breaks and they run the well dry?

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        • #64
          I'm with the others, though late to the party .
          Do not share or allow an easement.

          I'm not going to give details, but I've dealt with shared water supplies and also dealt with easements related to water lines/water supply and both situations were an ugly mess.

          The thing is, so many negative things could happen that you can't predict. Maybe you will try to sell your property someday and an easement/shared well will reduce the salability and the value more than you think (I would not buy a property with this kind of an easement on it). Maybe they will sell their property and the new neighbors will be unreasonable litigious jerks who take advantage of the situation in ways you never imagined. What if they install an autowaterer and don't install the proper valve and your well is contaminated by back flow?
          Maybe there will be unexpected mechanical or line issues and you will come home from work one day and there will be machinery/dangerous trenches in the paddock with your horses. If you were to install a line, a valve and a meter and sell them water, would you really want the responsibility/hassle of checking the meter and billing someone every month? What would you do if they didn't pay? What if they don't maintain their lines and one breaks and they run the well dry?

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          • Original Poster

            #65
            A "perk test" is for septic systems, I thought.

            To find out if there's water there needs to be a test well, which costs as much as digging a regular one. At least in these parts.
            Click here before you buy.

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            • #66
              Yes, perk test is for septic systems. My house perks very nicely (lots of sand), but a nearby town is full of rock, and clay, and they have to do very expensive, and strange septic systems, and water wells there. I think perk rates, and water do seem to go together, at least around here.

              I think that the right outcome is for the landowners to sell to you, and then they buy elsewhere. I think a very low price would be appropriate considering that the property has no water on it. It's not your problem that the buyers were clueless and bought a place that turned out not to have water readily available.

              Alagirl-it wasn't Eerie, it was in a very nice, middle class area in Colorado. The sales party people didn't shock them, but the swingers certainly did. They declined both offers.
              You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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              • Original Poster

                #67
                I guess "clueless" seems unfair to me . . . we bought our property without doing a test well, just like these folks. We were not "clueless" in that we knew the risks, but we felt them worth taking and did so. Maybe "clueless" only applies after water is NOT found?

                They are still digging, last I heard--attempts #4 and 5 planned on the other end of their property.

                Completely tongue-in-cheek I suggested they find a "water witch". These types of suggestions, even in jest, are often met with stony silence in this VERY religious town, but the owner said he was considering it!

                Before "believers" get all ticked off at me, the guy who is the son of "the" local well driller and who found our "lake" underground in one try scoffs at the idea as well. He humbly insisted he got lucky.
                Click here before you buy.

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                • #68
                  It can be such a crap shoot. When we bought our property, we could look at the well records online for all the properties around us and it is all over the board, how deep they had to go, how many tries, how much water they get. It looked promising on paper (or on screen I should say) but you just never know. We chose a spot totally based on convenience and struck gold -- didn't have to drill far, got good water and good flow.

                  Next door built after us and drilled 2x, super deep and horrible flow. Up the road a bit drilled 3 wells. One or both of them did employ a witcher and I don't see that it helped much!

                  That's why a property with a well already is worth so much more than a property without -- it isn't just the cost of drilling that well but all that uncertainty and risk.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    I don't know about "witching" for wells but it does seem to work for tile lines in farm fields and water pipes around the farm. It seems to work for some people and not for others. We use two different contractors that have backhoes to fix tile lines and it work for both of them. I, however, can walk the whole farm with two pieces of bent coat hangers and look like an idiot.

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                    • #70
                      It is done quite frequently in many areas around here as there are lots of islands with limited access to water. It is not so "scary" and or as bad as many make it sound who are just not used to those kinds of shared arrangements. A legal document is drawn up, meters are put on the draw and the new party is kept to whatever is deemed prudent for that particular well. It is not something we have done but we considered it for one house purchase, in fact that one had four people drawing on the well, and, as far as I knew from the legal reports that were appended to the purchase, there were no problems. It is possible and it would be a wonderful thing to do for a young family. It is entirely conceiveable that we human beings can get along, not everyone is an a%$!ole.

                      Tom King made some useful suggestions, especially the Grundfoss! They are the best!
                      "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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                      • #71
                        I'm a bit late also and this may seem like an odd suggestion, but tell them to find a old fashioned dowser/waterwitch and have their property checked again for a well site. I know that sounds crazy but there is something to it.

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                        • #72
                          If I didn't have horses and the new neighbor was family...that I liked...I'd consider sharing the well.
                          Otherwise, no. I'd be the first to lend a hand and help with just about anything else. But if the well can't handle the add-on, I'm not digging/pounding a new well or having to bring in water for the horses. That type of help could be catastrophic for you, we never realize how much we depend on water until we don't have it.
                          I had no idea there were places you could sell a lot as a building lot without having the perc and hole tests done first. Here in CT it's not possible. You can sell a lot without either test done, but then it's stated that it's not tested and the price is less than half of what an approved lot would be. The buyers know that they might not be able to build on it, but some folks buy those lots as camp sites, storage, logging/for the trees, etc.
                          Considering the price difference between a lot you know you can build on and one you can't, people who sell the lots have the tests done. Big difference between $100k an acre for an approved/tested building lot and $30k an acre for just plain land. Not to mention lenders will not finance unapproved and unimproved land here. Not unless it's an add on to your current lot.
                          I'd feel awful for the new neighbors...but I wouldn't risk my water supply for them. Not with horses at home. And I have a ton of water...heck after it rains here it burbles up out of the ground.
                          You jump in the saddle,
                          Hold onto the bridle!
                          Jump in the line!
                          ...Belefonte

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                          • Original Poster

                            #73
                            Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                            I'm a bit late also and this may seem like an odd suggestion, but tell them to find a old fashioned dowser/waterwitch and have their property checked again for a well site. I know that sounds crazy but there is something to it.
                            I did mention it, as a joke, as I mentioned in my last post. I don't thiink there is anything to it, actually, but the guy took me seriously.

                            Of course the law of averages would say that most people turn to this type of thing after a couple of failures, and then if/when they find something they're happy to credit the dowser.

                            Not a believer. Shocking, I know.
                            Click here before you buy.

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                            • #74
                              Misty-years ago they built entire subdivisions in the desert around El Paso, and they only had a central water tap, or would get water trucked in. There were lots of suburban looking houses, with full plumbing built in, and no water. I was told the federal government finally brought water lines in, after quite a few years. It wasn't really legal, but it happened. Mind boggling isn't it? There are all kinds of shady building practices, especially outside the city limits, and may places in the country in unincorporated areas, all kinds of 'interesting' construction happens. You don't even want to know about the things they got away with in the new subdivisions near my house.
                              You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                I did mention it, as a joke, as I mentioned in my last post. I don't thiink there is anything to it, actually, but the guy took me seriously.

                                Of course the law of averages would say that most people turn to this type of thing after a couple of failures, and then if/when they find something they're happy to credit the dowser.

                                Not a believer. Shocking, I know.
                                You know, I am a disbeliever, but I have witched several wells for people, one that had sunk 10 holes before and I gave him two locations that were "marking" and he hit in the first one and built his house there.

                                Another, I could not find but a faint show, told him not enough to drill on, he drilled anyway and got 2 gallons a minute, that he said was better than nothing, with a supply tank.

                                I still don't believe it, but using two maybe 20" lengths of plain baling wire bent in the middle at 45 degrees, loosely held in my hands, walked around and felt those move in places, right down dance in others and be limp in many others.
                                I have passed those wires to others and some, the same happens, others, nothing happens.

                                Those wires have helped me find the telephone line for a friend, water leaks under concrete, were exactly where the wires indicated.
                                I "knew" where our old water line by the Quonset was, I put it in, then added the barn onto it.
                                Well, wanting to connect to it, the wires said it was 10' over.
                                Dug around and the wires were right, oops.
                                I know, goofy.

                                Soooo, still a disbeliever, just because I can't tell what those wires are doing, just that they are doing something and yes, maybe we have just been lucky that where those wires danced, we hit lines and wells, in this very dry country.
                                But, every time, many times now?

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #76
                                  To have picked up the wire in the first place, you had to believe on some level. It's cool. Just not for me. Even our well guy (as I mentioned above) who found our gusher by just looking around and picking one spot on a field 8 acres in size, thinks it's BS.
                                  Click here before you buy.

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                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                    To have picked up the wire in the first place, you had to believe on some level. It's cool. Just not for me. Even our well guy (as I mentioned above) who found our gusher by just looking around and picking one spot on a field 8 acres in size, thinks it's BS.
                                    When I witched one for my neighbor, the well man laughed.
                                    He told us not to drill there, too close to the edge of the caprock canyons, that just was not a place he ever saw a well come in, we would be hitting ledge rock.
                                    He said, at least pull up the draw several hundred yards away from the caprock's edge.
                                    Ok, the wires kept saying there and not where the well man wanted it, the neighbor decided to go for it and, well, we have one of the strongest wells in our area, could not bail it out while testing.

                                    I know, one time, mere luck, but after 40 years of it, I sure am lucky.

                                    As for believing, I don't, would not bet on any one next location having water, but what you know, every time it was a surprise, it was water there.

                                    Now, how about the telephone wire?
                                    Neighbor thought he remembered where it was, looked all over two acres, wires were showing right on a corner of the yard and that is exactly where it was.
                                    I too thought it was a stretch I could find it, but he had seen it before.
                                    Yes, that could have been luck, but if so, maybe I ought to have bought some lottery tickets that day too.

                                    Or the large concrete pad with a leak, where was that pipe?
                                    I sure didn't have the foggiest idea, but, again, where the wires pointed, that is exactly where that pipe was traveling below that concrete.

                                    And no, in our area you get more misses than hits.
                                    Remember the one that drilled 10 dry holes already and where the wires were showing, his 11th hole, he hit a good water hole?
                                    How about your neighbor, sounds like he can't hit water, not as easy as you think right where you are.

                                    Sigh, I still don't believe the wires do it, but there is something there ... or an awfully long lucky streak.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Too risky in terms of your responsibility for their water and the potential that they could run your well dry. I would not do it. That is said as a lawyer's daughter as well as a land owner with a well. I feel sorry for their poor decision to buy without a guaranteed well on the land, but that really is not your problem, nor do you want it to be.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Any chance that sharing with another family might bring you under water system regulation?

                                        I own the well that services both the farm tenants and a rental house on my farm. But, quite honestly, I would have qualms about providing water outside my own property.

                                        What would happen if they were willing to get a deep well? Mine is 1200 feet deep. Can they go deep enough to get past the sand?

                                        Our extension service has maps of the aquifers at different depths.
                                        Last edited by vineyridge; Apr. 6, 2013, 08:34 PM.
                                        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                        Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                                        • #80
                                          JanM, I can't even wrap my brain around that! Who in the world would do that? Or worse...who in the world would *buy* there?

                                          You jump in the saddle,
                                          Hold onto the bridle!
                                          Jump in the line!
                                          ...Belefonte

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