new to well/septic

Old 09-22-05, 12:06 PM
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new to well/septic

My wife and I are in the process of looking for a new home. Many of the houses we are looking at have well water and a septic system. All of my life I lived in places with public water and public sewer, so I know very little about well and septic systems. For instance, when the power goes out, do I still have water? How does that work?

What are the questions I should be asking?

What are the pros and cons of well/septic vs. public utilities?

Any info and/or links where I can learn more would be greatly appreciated.
Old 09-22-05, 01:20 PM
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When the power goes out, you will soon be out of water. Get a house with a swimming pool so you can use a 5 gallon bucket to get water to flush the toilet. Just kidding.

I might be a little prejudice but I wouldn't have city water and sewer. It's a license to steal for the powers to be. If the pipe breaks on your side of the meter and 10000 gallons run out of the pipe, oh well, you will pay the bill. You also pay for the sewage when you buy the water.

I like not to have that monthly bill. Sure your pump will cost you money and your septic may have to be pumped every so often. But the cost is far less in my opinion to own a well and septic than to have that monthly bill.

Old 09-23-05, 02:33 PM
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It depends on how good your well is. The folks stuck with a well producing 1 gallon per minute, or water that needs complicated treatment, might wish they had city water. Me, with a 13 gallon/minute well that needs only calcite neutralizer, I'm happy not to pay a bill, and not to smell chlorine when I take a shower.

Speedbump wasn't kidding about being out of water when the power goes out. When you use well water, a generator is good to have.

Likewise, a good septic system is a pleasure to have (because you don't notice it), and a bad one could make your life miserable. The Washington Post had an article a couple months ago about new, expensive exurban homes with peat-based septic systems that have been an unmitigated disaster. Maybe someone on this board has experience with such systems, as a homeowner or pro, and can comment on them.
Old 09-23-05, 03:07 PM
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Might look into Aerobic septic tanks . You can pump the water right back on the lawn if you want. On the well power off you will run out of water. Also test the water to see if you need a softener for the water.Some water is real hard from a well.

Old 09-23-05, 05:49 PM
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I was in your position. City boy gone urban. New well lasted 10 years and then collapsed. $3500.00 for new 10 ft. deeper well. (120 ft. in all). Sad part was that I worked for a major city water department up North before moving south. No problem when the electric went out but the sewer, which was 1-1/2 times the cost of the water did put a big dent in the bill. Leaks were negotiable as far as the bill if you could prove the water had leaked and was not just used. They removed the sewage part and reduced the water consumption bill. My salt bill for the softener when I went to well water was small. The water tasted better and no smell. The septic depended on me to take care of it. I went by the old adage: If it didn't go through you, it shouldn't go through the septic system. FORGET THE GARBAGE DISPOSER.
I am now on a split system. City water and a septic. Water cost seems high and I smell the clorine. Not much taste either. I don't pay for sewage and I haven't had a problem so far. Good luck.
Old 10-10-05, 08:47 PM
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My company has three drillers and two drilling rigs and I would choose city water any day. You may have a monthly bill, but if you sit down and calculate a rate of return on the monthly payments vs. the well, you will never come out on the well. Wells can be expensive and unreliable.

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