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Thread: well vs. rural water

  1. #1
    DIY Member michaelheerwald's Avatar
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    Default well vs. rural water

    time to make a decision, I am either going to have to spend about $2,000 fixing my water well, worst case scenario or about $1,000 to tie into rural water with a $40 min. charge per month for the first 1,000 gallons then $6 each additional. This is a lake house that would only be used on weekends for maybe 4 months per year. The money isn't the biggest issue it just that I am not going to be using the place a whole lot and I kind of like the idea of not paying a monthly bill, but on the other hand I don't want to have a bunch of trouble with a water well that the water isn't even good enough to drink(neither is the rural water I am sure) Just wondering if anyone has any input on this!

  2. #2
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    We don't know what kind of well water you have either. Have you had it tested? Have you tested the city water?

    You should ask around some of your neighbors and see what they have to say.

    bob...

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    our company is a well driller and well service company. (we has also but in hundreds of miles of rural water) i would without a doubt go to rural water. it is better quality water and more reliable. there is no way that in the long run rural water will cost more than a water well. waters wells are expensive and tempermental.
    rshackleford

  4. #4
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by rshackleford
    waters wells are expensive and tempermental.
    I disagree, water companies are in business to make money, even rural water, overall a well will cost 1/10 the cost of a water company, but then I've never heard it called rural water, is that subsidized?

    Rancher

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    What part of the country are you located?

    This may make a difference in the answer.

  6. #6
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    My rule of thumb has always been that if rural or city water cost you $50.00 per month, it is less expensive to have your own well. $2,000.00 to fix the well, and the average life of a pump system is 7 years, makes the cost $23.80 per month. Without any irrigation, the cost of electricity is almost not worth mentioning. For a lake house that is just used part of the time, the pump system should last even longer.

    I have good well water that doesn't need any treatment and taste much better than city or rural water. Even if the rural water is tested safe, it still has chlorine which is toxic. I would still have to filter it, as I can't and won't drink chlorinated water.

    The government has been trying to outlaw private water wells and force everyone to connect to rural or city water supplies. This is just an attempt by big government to get even more control of our lives. It is never a good when the government has full control of anything.

  7. #7
    Rancher
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    My city water here was 125 -150 a month, I had a 30 X 60 lawn and a garden, a few trees. That was 15 years ago.

    Rancher

  8. #8
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    I agree with Rancher and Valveman. Well water is definately cheaper and better than any city, rural, private system or other government regulated water. Here they are not only adding chlorine, they are using chlorimine (chlorine and ammonia combined) and fluoride. I guess when you have toxic waste to get rid of, why hot put it in the water. And they can charge you for it.

    bob...

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Chlorine (and ammonia) is not the only thing being added to 'city' water.

    If you don't get it, water, out of the ground yourself, it's all 'city' water because they all must treat it the same because the Federal guv'mint says so and every State must meet that minimum or go farther with their own regs.

    Water is getting more expensive everywhere and will only get more expensive over time. A well of your own and on average any water treatment equipment you may need is always less expensive than 'city' water and will be better quality.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  10. #10

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    Go for the well water. Always cheaper and more user friendly. The one thing that cities do right is add flouride. Flouride really must be ingested not scrubbed in the mouth in order to work wonders on your teeth.

  11. #11

    Smile

    I'll just provide my experience:

    We had our own well water for 13 years. The water was 'very hard', it had to be filtered ahead of our clothes washer with filter elements needing to be changed frequently, a really messy job (ruined clothes otherwise.) We lost well-water supply during power outages, this can last several days or even weeks when a severe winter ice storm occurs. Our water quality (flavor) cycled from tolerable to terrible, we purchased bottled water for drinking and cooking much of the time, handling 5 gal jugs from town every week. Tests sometimes found farm-chemical contamination, a field is within 65' of our pumphouse. Then there was a water softener system to maintain and buy/handle bags of salt frequently, plus 'iron-out' chemicals. Oil wells in our vicinity added to our problems with two occasions of 'brine-water' leeching into our well resulting in ruining our refrigerator ice-maker and the control valve for our furnace humidifier (the leak went un-noticed requiring floor repairs.) Oh, we also had a 3-cartridge carbon filtration system under the kitchen sink to maintain. Wifey also complained of 'itchy skin' and 'hair-problems' after showering with the well-water.

    We got 'city water' last year via a Dept. of Agriculture program for $500 hookup fee for initial subscribers (yeau, tax-payer supported -- thanks), but the system is managed by a local board of volunteer rural members. The water comes from a deep underground acquifer, is a reliable source even during storms, and its flavor is *consistently* great with 'no' chlorine or other chemical taste or smell. Our monthly bill averages $38-40, less than our well-water considering all of the above factors, and I'm certain the 'city' water is much healthier and convenient for us.

    Most importantly of all, wifey is happy and we save thousands in skin and hair conditioning products.

    I kept the well in service, needing to spend $200 for a 'new' used pump, bladder-style pressure tank and pipe materials -- only for garden-watering and exterior cleaning needs. I can always re-connect it (2 feet) for home supply but hope this never becomes necessary.

    Best to all,
    Mac

  12. #12
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    How deep was this well Mac?

    bob...

  13. #13

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    Our well is 35 feet deep according to property papers when we bought the place. The well is over 30 years old, water level is about 7' below pumphouse floor (and it's been drought all spring around here.) The upper well casing (to the 7' depth that I can see) is 6" dia. thick-wall PVC. with cast-iron sleeve and cap. I don't know length of suction line inside the well, it's 1" poly-pipe.

    I have another posting here, 'Pump won't start except manually...briefly' that explains more about my pump/well and asks for help on a couple of items, if you have time to look sometime....
    Mac

  14. #14
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    The depth of your well is probably why the quality is so bad. You mentioned brine water getting in, that is probably due to the shallow depth. And possibly the construction of the well.

    bob...

  15. #15

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    Bob, thanks for your input. The oil wells are 900 and more feet deep. I understand brine water is pumped down to force the oil upward, and this brine water may be pumped from a storage tank hundreds of feet away from the oil well. The oil-well company looked for above-ground indications of a brine-water leak along underground (3') piping runs but found nothing (leaks are supposedly easy to spot) -- I never saw results of any pressure tests. I also dug up my back yard to check sewer piping and be sure that salt-water discharge from my water softener wasn't the culprit.

    Wells that I know of around here (East Central Illinois) are also shallow. This general area was reclaimed from a swampy 'slough' back in the 1800's by dredging a network of drainage ditches to the creeks and rivers. This probably accounts for the high water-table and resulting shallow wells -- and definitely the rich black farm-soil. The remains of a few windmill water pumps are still around along with many old hand-pumps. Lucky location near a high quality water source and condition/chemistry of the sub-strata soil/rock seem to be the key around here as I have tasted excellent water from shallow wells.

    Mac

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