As more homes and neighborhoods ripple outward from America's more urban or suburban centers, more and more homeowners are finding themselves having to get their water supply from a well versus municipal water sources.
Joe Finnerty's Lehigh Valley Real Estate blog covered the subject very well this month— no pun intended. Check it out here.
According to Finnerty's post, there are three main concerns with a well:
1) Is the water safe to drink and use (also referred to as potable)?
2) Does the well have adequate capacity?
3) What is the depth of the well? (The deeper the well, the better the water, usually.)
If purchasing a home for the first time with a well, a buyer should consider having a test done to detect Coliform— especially if the well is near a septic system.
According to Finnerty, homeowners can also test for lead, pesticides, and other chemicals. If a problem is found with the well water, an ultra-violet light (to kill bacteria) or water conditioner may be needed.
If a well does not have an adequate water supply, and it is deep (300-500 feet), Finnerty says hydrofracking may fix the problem.
If the well is shallow or hydrofracking doesn't work, a new well may be needed— typically, in the $3,500 to $5,000 range— and an estimate should be obtained for a new well and location. Usually, a permit is needed to install a new well, according to the Pennsylvania-based site— check your local building codes or office to be sure.
The Canadian city of Guelph publishes an informative downloadable guide for water sources that can help orient any new first time well owner, or a prospective buyer who is looking at a home that draws well water.
Reference that information here.