The image above is what some people think of when they think of well water. Or maybe it’s this that you think of?
But when you are considering owning a country property or a cottage, your well will not be this obvious. Without the luxuries of municipal services for water and sewage, come some different things to consider. Many people purchase a home without any knowledge of what they should be looking for when purchasing a home with well and septic. Oversights when considering a country property can cost you alot of money down the road.
1. Existence of Well or Septic
When you’re looking to purchase a country property, either in a sub-development or on a farm do your homework. Ask questions if you think it may not be on a municipal system. Know not only the existence of the well or septic but the location of them. Usually a well head will be visible and above grade. But sometimes they may be hidden by bushes or landscaping by some homeowners. Septic heads may not be so easy to spot. Some may be above grade with risers. However, many homeowners have below grade septic heads and the heads need to be dug up for pumping or a visual inspection. Either way – find out where these are. You don’t want to be digging up holes in your new home trying to find the septic heads if you need to access the tanks. Usually a proper survey should outline the location of both items.
2. Condition of Well or Septic
Do your homework and find out the condition of a well or septic system. You can ask questions to determine the status. But also obtain copies of any supporting records, permits, service records, etc. If possible, documentation should also include date the tank was installed, inspections, proof that it was installed in accordance with Ministry standards, etc.
If the seller doesn’t have these documents, they should be available from the Ministry of the Environment or the local health unit.
3. Proper Conditions in offer
When submitting an offer, ensure that it is conditional on test results for both well and septic. Specifically the well water’s quality and quantity. You should also include an inspection of the well or septic system by appropriate trained professional.
With water well & Septic systems, unexpected surprises for each of these items can be horrible. Especially for septic systems! You definitely don’t want to be dealing with septic back up issues after getting keys for your new home. So do your homework, understand what you’re taking on, and in this way you can enjoy your new home without any stinky surprises!