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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    Grayson County, TX
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    Kubota B2710

    Default Water Decision

    Well its nut cuttin' time on my water. I finally got the bid from the Rural Water system for connecting. It is a mere $10,250 (after I talked them down by $575).

    I've talked to 4 water well drillers. Basically the price per foot is the same but they are telling me all kinds of different stuff as to why a particular depth is better.

    In our area there are two aquifers - the Woodbine and below that, the Trinity. Driller number 1 says drill 1000' to the Trinity for $20,000. Driller number 2 says drill 400 - 600 feet to the bottom part of the Woodbine for about $10,000 - $14,000. Driller #3 and #4 both say drill to the top part of the Woodbine - about 260 - 320' for $6,500.

    So now I have to decide not only whether to go with a well vs the rural water system, but which depth? My reading about the Woodbine aquifer says there are three layers and the top one has poor water quality, so I think that rules out drillers #3 and #4 as they told me the water quality was the same regardless of the depth in the Woodbine.

    Driller #1 is pretty much out as too expensive. That leaves driller #2 who drills to the bottom of the Woodbine. He admits there can be some iron and sulpher problems, but says in my area in the lower part the iron content has been negligible and most of the sulpher can be taken out before it gets to the house just by exposing the water to oxygen in an open system (galvanized tank vs bladder tank). According to my reading the Woodbine tends to have a fairly high iron content, though not nearly as much in the lower levels.

    If I go with the water system I will be paying water bills of up to $100 and even more in the summer. The 19,000 gallons of water I used last July would cost $85. With the well its about $1,500 if the pump goes out, plus you do with out water until it is fixed.

    Driller #2 drilled a well into the lower Woodbine - about 500' on an adjoining tract a couple years ago. I collected a water sample there this morning (nobody home, so I ran water into a jar out of the outside faucet). The water looks and tastes very good. Maybe better than the city (Trinity) well water I'm drinking in town now. Of course you can't see all the stuff that could be in there that is harmful.

    With the water system they are regulated and have to do whatever treatment is necessary to keep the water healthy. If I have my own well I'm on my on.

    I'm leaning toward driller #2, but I would appreciate any experiences or other input on the subject.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Ontario
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    Ford 1710: Loader, Hoe, Snowblower, Box scrapper & 3ph Forks

    Default Re: Water Decision

    Around here, most well companies are willing to offer an 'easy drill' price. That means, the price is low if they don't hit a rock. If they do, then it's the standard price. You'd think a company would tell customers about easy drill prices to get a job, but maybe not. It's probably worth asking.


  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Hico, Texas
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    Kubota M6800SD/LA1002 Loader Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: Water Decision

    You will get more information if you tell people where you are located. I am familiar with wells in North Central Texas and into the Central Texas area.

    First, well drillers are just well drillers. They can only tell you how they drill the hole, the way the protect the casing with gravel pack and cement the well. They don't make water, purify water, understand where the water even comes from, or really care. They normally charge by the foot and you pay whether or not they ever hit water that is acceptable to you. The pump is also just that, you can specify what you want, but the cost is primarily decided by the depth of the well and the amount of water available to pump.

    Unfortunately it is not rocket science either, but most long term well drillers know what to expect 90% of the time. I have water with no iron, and people two lots away have lots of iron. Water treatment can be easy or expensive depending on what you have to deal with. Rules for placement of a well (legal requirements) must be met to try to keep sewage out of the well. You never know when someone is putting sewage down a well because their septic tank doesn't work! That is why they make you test it before it is used.

    Small amounts of iron are treatable easily with a water softner. Small amounts of sulfur (smells like rotten eggs) are treatable on a continuting basis by adding a 1/2 cup of Chlorine mixed in 5 gallons of water to the well about once a month. It won't hurt you, it just smells bad.

    Wells here drilled by reputable low cost drillers for homesites run about $2400 for a 200 ft well with pump and 80 gallon bladder storage tank. In this area, there is little to be gained by going to the lower aquafier. In other areas of Texas, most of the water comes from about 450 ft and costs about $5400 for a complete system.

    My well in California was over 600 feet deep drilled through solid granite and only put out a minimal amount of 3 or so gallons per minute. Water is relatively cheap to drill in a lot of Texas and there are hugh amounts of water available.

    There are risks to drilling wells. A friend of mine (who is a lawyer) had a well drilled, it worked just fine for a couple of weeks, the ground shifted and he had the same expense to drill another one 10 feet away. There are no guarantees on wells. If someone does guarantee them, then they are charging enough to be sure they don't lose money drilling for you. Many drillers will travel 100 miles to drill a well, so check outside of your area for someone who will do it on a per foot basis, then check others in your local area to see what you want to drill in terms of depth. Most drillers will tell you the truth as well as they know it, but every well is somewhat unique.


  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Kubota M6800SD/LA1002 Loader Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: Water Decision

    I personally would prefer my own well over any rural water system. Some areas will not let you drill a well if a co-op system is available to you.


  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Decision

    Alan, have the drillers said anything about the possibility of not even finding water. I understand they will find water, of varying degrees of quality, like Wen said, in most places; however, I know of one guy in my area who paid for drilling 4 dry holes before he gave up (I don't know just how deep they went though).

    Bird

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Grayson County, TX
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    Default Re: Water Decision

    My area is north central Texas, north of Dallas about 50 miles. All the drillers say there is a 99.9% chance of getting plenty of water, but the don't guarantee it of course. The question of whether or not you will get the amount and quality of water is one reason for considering the municipal water. Well, I'm off to meet the driller at my place and talk it over!!!


  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Water Decision

    >>With the water system they are regulated and have to do whatever treatment is necessary to keep the water healthy. If I have my own well I'm on my on.

    I wouldn't count on that...maybe they are *supposed* to, but it doesn't mean they are...I have my own well, and luckily the water tastes better than the best bottled stuff money can buy.

    I have read more than one article in the past few months where the people running municipal water systems have really screwed things up...somewhere down south (Lousiana maybe?) they Dept of Public Works hooked up a sewer line to the water system and made a lot of people very sick (and a lot of lawyers happy)...the residents were complaining for weeks about bad tasting water and little bits of paper in coming out of the tap, and they were told there was nothing wrong...can you imagine anything more disgusting than that? In the town next to me (the one I used to live in) I had "town" water and it was so terrible we only drank bottled water (population was under 2000, so it was a small town). they were routinely cited for having unacceptable levels of contaminants in the water....I could go on and on...

    I've had pumps now for over 6 years, not had one go bad yet. I am sure they do, but its not all that common. Its not like you will be replacing them every few years...my recommendation would be that if you can get good water on your own property, go for it.




  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Hico, Texas
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    Default Re: Water Decision

    I thought it was California that was recycling sewage to drinking water! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Guess that is why they make us keep our well and septic lines 75 ft apart. Hard to get them connected that way. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Unfortunately there always exists a health hazzard with any drinking water, well or municipality.

    When we tested all waste water for all heavy metals, they would fine us for discharging the same amount of heavy metals that was present in the municipal water they were selling us! Don't count on municipal water being fit to drink.


  9. #9

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    Default Re: Water Decision

    Alan,

    Maybe you need to find some less expensive well drillers. Too much prosperity in North Dallas.


  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Decision

    Yep, there are some hazards in any of the water systems; especially in Texas. I learned that the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) is a paper tiger. For two years, I was on the board of directors for our water system, and the TNRCC told us a lot of things we were "required" to do to upgrade the system, and we agreed. Of course, the only way to pay for those improvements was to raise the water rates, which resulted in petitions to throw out the entire board of directors, a frivilous lawsuit that was eventually dropped, accusations of having too many employees, making illegal purchases (which never happened of course), accusations that the board president was stealing (I was vice president and would personally have seen that he went to jail if there'd been any evidence of that), etc. Well, then the TNRCC refused to get involved, we got a whole new board of directors who rolled the rates back - for 9 months; most of the new directors resigned in less than that 9 months when they realized what they had gotten into, then they really jumped the rates up higher than ever, and now 2 years later, they have twice as many employees, nothing has been upgraded, but they think they are going to start upgrading sometime soon.

    Bird

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