Anyone from Maine here? Researching a new well.

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-28-07, 06:13 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 225
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Anyone from Maine here? Researching a new well.

I am trying to research wells in Maine. [I am interested in a property that may need a new one.]

You can guess the problems; I get 32 pages about the town of Wells [and one hit on the state government pages].

Can anyone suggest some good search terms?

[Any comments on raised leach fields would be welcome as well.]
 
  #2  
Old 04-29-07, 06:48 AM
V
Vey
Vey is offline
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mid-Florida
Posts: 1,343
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I don't know much about wells in Maine.
I do know that you have to have a good basic knowledge of water wells before you can understand what you read and that local knowledge (more local than a state) is invaluable, so ask the neighbors.

Fred has a good site here:
http://www.fdungan.com/well.htm that explains wells.

Here is what I know about raised leechfields:
Avoid them. I saw my daddy go for a 1,000 feet less house to avoid a raised leech field and a sump in the basement. I saw crooked real estate agents lie to my father about them when we moved to Florida, saying things like "everybody has them." Everybody doesn't have them. We lived in several houses for years and none of them needed them, so they didn't have them.

The presence of these things means the house is on low land. Besides potential flooding, low land means a lot of things. It means wet grass and humidity year 'round. It means deep ditches to slip into while driving. Mud in the yard. It means a wet cellar that will never be very dry, and that means peeling paint, rotting wood, condensate on the walls and all the other things that come with a damp cellar.

A raised leechfield also means one more thing to break. A sump pump means two more things to break.
 
  #3  
Old 04-29-07, 07:11 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,817
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The first place to start your research is at your local health department, as they have to permit and inspect all wells and septic systems.
 
  #4  
Old 04-29-07, 07:22 AM
V
Vey
Vey is offline
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mid-Florida
Posts: 1,343
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The health department?

I don't know about Maine, but Florida has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to water wells.

The health department would give you a blank stare if you asked about water wells here. All they do is test 'em. You get a bottle from them, follow the instructions and bring the bottle back. I don't know if they even keep records now. They didn't used to.
 
  #5  
Old 04-29-07, 07:39 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,817
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry about your poor experience with your local health department. By statute, the Florida health departments are required to regulate local water systems. http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/water/index.html

The construction of drinking water supply wells is regulated by Chapter 62-532 of the Florida Administrative Code, adopted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
 
  #6  
Old 04-29-07, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Anyone from Maine here? Researching a new well.

When it comes to wells, rely on a local well driller. He has the knowledge of the soils, rock formations and depths depending on the specific location.

Without good local knowlegde, you could easily go too deep and end up with a lesser quality well.

In many areas going to deep is not a simple as pulling back. In these areas you have to go to the same procedure for the lower part as abandoning a well, which is costly and entails reporting.

Dick
 
  #7  
Old 04-29-07, 08:37 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 225
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
And there is the problem.

I am certain there are well-drillers in Maine who have web-pages; I just don't know how to find them. What other terms are water well drillers likely to have on their pages?

The well is a dug well, at least thiry years old, on the same relatively small plot as a poor leach field. Sounds like a recipe for contaminated water to me.

The property is very close to a lake, at the foot of a hill; seasonally, the plot almost floods. The passive drainage system was not well maintained, and there has been new construction behind the house. The two independant inspectors convinced me that the current leach field will be non-functioning very soon, and that even adequately maintained passive drainage will not prevent a new below grade field from failing in a relatively short time.

The house has no signs for severe water damage, and the foundation appears sound; we have just had two abnormally wet springs. I think I saw the property at exactly the right time to discover potential problems.

So, if I buy the house I will need to repair the passive drainage [well within the capabilities of two yound nephews], install a new, probably raised leach field [which many of the neighbors have], and possibly drill a well [the water table will probably start fluctuate a lot if we continue to get most of our precipitation as rain in the spring, rather than snow].

I have absolutely no idea how much this will cost. I am guessing 5 - 10 k for the leach field, but am trying to get some idea how much a drilled well would cost.
 
  #8  
Old 04-29-07, 09:52 AM
V
Vey
Vey is offline
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mid-Florida
Posts: 1,343
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I wouldn't touch a place like that until I told the local septic tank man all about it. He may be at the local health department, here he is at the at the local building code inspection office. He may be part-time, but he is there, somewhere.

You don't say how much land you have, but a pretty good piece of it will be eaten up by the leech (we call them "drain" here) field. Here, you would need a minimum of 800 square feet, but once again, it depends on the locality and the rules and regulations there.

Draw a picture of the property and show it to him. Put where the lake is up to and look for signs of how high it gets.

Once you know where the leech field will go, then you figure out where the well will have to be located . . . it has to be X number of feet away from the field.

The good news is that it doesn't sound like the well driller will have much trouble finding water.

Ask the neighbors who they hire to look after their well. Ask them about their septic tanks, too. Like everything else, finding a good well man can be hard. If you are going to have country place, you better get used to talking to the neighbors.

If you are only going to be there sometimes, have you considered some of the alternative methods of disposal? Like incineration or composting toilets? If you are that far out in the woods, I wouldn't count on reliable electricity to run the ejector pump on the raised field.
 
  #9  
Old 04-29-07, 11:10 AM
V
Vey
Vey is offline
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mid-Florida
Posts: 1,343
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I had a second thought about finding the septic tank man. Why don't you just call one of the septic tank installers around there and ask them to come out and advise you? Pay $50-100 for their effort and ask for a slight discount if you buy the place and hire them to do the work.
 
  #10  
Old 04-29-07, 01:11 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 225
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The inspector I used is on some state board of advisors for septic systems; although he told me I must get a site evaluator in to design a new leach field, he did show me where the raised field would best be located.

I don't see this as a deal-breaker; it is just the kind of serious issue one hires an inspector to find, and the offer must be adjusted accordingly [I don't believe the house could be sold in Massachusetts under Title V.]

I don't think I should have any trouble finding a septic system installer to give me a rough idea of the cost of installing a new field. I just keep getting distracted by all I am learning about leach field technology, and ideas for incorporating them into the landscape.

While I do appreciate all the information everyone is sharing, my initial problem was easily finding a well-drilling company in Maine, because the results are inundated with websites about the town of Wells. I thought Maine residents might have some ideas how to work around this linguistic issue.

I am having a bit more luck with the terms 'water drill maine contractor' and the name of the county. If there were a town in Maine called 'Septic', I would be tearing my hair out.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: