Well Well

Dated: December 9 2020

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Did you know that over 13 million homes in the United States have a well for their water supply?  And Frederick County certainly has its share.  The existence of a well adds another layer of complexity in buying a home.  Homeowners over the years may have had to adjust their water usage because of various changes; the movement of acquifers underground, changes in the water table, lack of snow or rain, or increase in household usage.  The sale of a home can be the juncture at which all of these factors can come front and center for both the seller and the buyer.

It is always advisable for a buyer to have a well inspected for both well yield and water quality.  There are two types of well inspectors; consultants that only test the flow of water from a source outside the well (e.g. an outside faucet), and well drilling companies that inspect the well itself, including the submersible pump.  If the well yield is below half a gallon of water per minute, it may be necessary to increase the water yield, depending on the number of people who will be living in the house.

There are four primary approaches to increasing the water yield.  The first is adding an underground water storage tank with a booster pump and a UV light to kill bacteria.  A second method is called hydro-fracking, which is an attempt to open veins in the ground to improve the well yield.  The third approach is to deepen the existing well, and the fourth is to dig a new well.

The quality of the well water can be tested at a local lab.  Testing can include bacteria (e.g. coliform, E.coli), nitrates, iron, sand, and turbidity.  Solutions can include "shocking" the well with chlorine, and adding water softening or water neutralizing equipment.

We may take water for granted while using it in multiple ways throughout the day, but it cannot be taken for granted when finding out about the well on a property you want to buy.  Making the investment to have it thoroughly tested can save you many headaches in future years!


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Roger Franks

Roger has been a resident of Maryland for over 30 years. He brings a solid background in sales and customer service along with an expert knowledge of Frederick County and the local community. He is pa....

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