So you’ve decided to buy a rural property. Great decision! Rural properties have so much going for them and they offer a nice change of pace from the rush of city life. But there’s a tradeoff. When looking to buy a home in the city, water supply isn’t really an issue that you would’ve needed to concern yourself with. However, in the country, that’s a very important consideration.
With cities comes convenience. You basically just need to know how to turn on a tap (for more information on this, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhlJ04Q7yKs). Since the city is responsible for both the supply and the quality, homeowners often just assume that their home will have safe and plentiful water. In a rural setting, water is often supplied by a well that is the owner’s responsibility to maintain. This may sound like a negative, but I know a lot of people who don’t like the taste of city water. With a well, you don’t need to worry about the city using half of the periodic table when treating your water.
Now this may leave you thinking “is well water safe?”
The answer is usually yes. It’s important to have your water tested every 6 months for E.coli and total coliform bacteria. In addition to these tests, some people choose to set up other water purification systems. Reverse osmosis and UV filtration being two of the most common. Water testing is also crucial when looking to purchase a home. Having an agreement that allows you to make sure the water is both safe and plentiful can help to prevent some health and financial issues down the road.
There are a few types of wells, but the one that you’re most likely to encounter is a drilled well. These can be over 1000 feet deep (although most are in the low hundreds of feet) and are less susceptible to contamination due to their depth and continuous casing. Another one you may encounter is a dug well. Because of how shallow they are, and their lack of a continuous casing, these wells are more vulnerable to surface contamination. For these, consistent testing is even more important.
Now, just because contamination is possible, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. Most people that I know with wells have never had to deal with an issue of contamination.
And the best part about wells? No water bill! Once you get used to testing your well periodically to make sure it’s safe, you’ll be staying healthy and living well! (pun intended)