Living Green Olympia: Olympia Home Buyers Ask - What Do We Need To Know About Wells?

Olympia Home Buyers Ask - What Do We Need To Know About Wells?

Olympia area home buyers will find that although many homes are on city water or a privately managed community water system, there are also many homes with wells providing their water.  These wells may be individual wells, serving just one home, or they could be shared wells serving two or more homes.  So, if you are looking at a home with a well, what do you need to know?

One important thing to know is that you will want to have the well water tested as a condition of buying that home.  There is a well addendum which can be included with your offer on the house, and it gives the buyer the opportunity to have the well water tested to make sure it will be safe to drink.

 

Water faucet

Thurston County has testing kits that can be picked up, with easy to follow instructions about how to collect the water sample and then about returning the sample to the county to be tested.  The testing will give you results about the presence of unsafe levels of coliform bacteria or nitrates, and the combined test for both costs $54 currently.

Water samples must be returned within a short window of time, so make sure and plan to take the sample when you can get it turned in for testing within that time period.

The county testing does not test the water for the presence or levels of minerals like iron which might also be of interest to a buyer.  A local private company, Dragon Laboratories, can do that testing as well as the testing for coliform and nitrate content - and has a mobile lab to come to the property to get samples.

By the way - if you buy a home with a well, don't forget to periodically have your water retested - it's an inexpensive safeguard for your family's health!  And check out the materials available at the county to learn how to protect your well from accidental contamination.

 

 

 

                                                                           

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Nancy Conner, City Realty Inc,    360-701-1086     nancy@cityrealtyinc.net      

Comment balloon 2 commentsNancy Conner • November 20 2013 02:17PM

Comments

It is surprising how many city folk still believe a well means a rope and bucket, LOL    One other thing I like to test for along with water quality is Quantity too.  There is nothing worse than a well that runs dry! 

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) about 5 years ago
Good point Susan! It sure doesn't hurt to check that well's output & make sure there'll be adequate water. We can usually check the original well logs on the state Dept. of Ecology website to find out the well depth & gallons per minute it's rated as being. But a current flow test can be a good idea - especially if the faucets seem to have more of a trickle than a gusher!
Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA about 5 years ago

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