If you are considering purchasing or have purchased a home that runs on its own water well and septic system, it is a good idea to have a qualified inspector test both the tank and the well for any potential problems before closing the deal. Having to replace or relocate a well is a large and expensive project that you want to be prepared for, should it be required. Did you know that home inspectors in most jurisdictions are not licensed to do well inspections? That’s why it’s important to have a separate inspection done by a licensed and/or certified water well contractor.
According to the experts at Ackerson Pump in New Jersey, a water well inspection should include:
• examining the tanks, fittings and valves inside the house;
• monitoring the water pump and well by taking off the well cap and checking the water level as it runs;
• checking the water softener for iron, sulfur and hardness.
In addition to having a well inspection performed, you should ask for copies of the well records and the septic system permit as well as any records of maintenance performed to the systems and water quality test reports.
The National Groundwater Association recommends that all homeowners owning private water well should have a routine annual maintenance check performed by a specialist to ensure the proper operation of the well and prolong its lifespan, as well as to verify the water quality. The checkup should include:
• A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance, and pressure tank and pressure switch contact;
• An inspection of the water tank and well equipment to be sure that they meet local code requirements and are sanitary;
• A water quality test to screen for coliform bacteria, nitrates and anything else of local concern;
• After the checkup, you should receive a written report explaining results, recommendations and lab test results.
As a well-owner or potential buyer, it is up to you to test and maintain your system to ensure proper functioning and water safety. For more information on well inspections, talk to your local water well specialist.
If you found this blog article helpful, you may want to come back next month when we discuss water quality testing. You may also be interested in reading Salt-Free Water Softeners – Better for Our Environment?
Please feel free to leave your comments about your experiences with water well inspections in our comments section below.
The National Groundwater Association’s Wellowner.org