The Well Report in a Drought Stricken Land
It’s hot out there and it’s really dry. Every buyer purchasing a home with a well should require a well report as part of the inspection or “due diligence” phase of the purchase process.
Most buyers will ask a seller, in the written purchase contract, to provide a “four hour flow test” for potability and productivity. This means that the buyer is asking the seller to pay for a water well drilling company to come to the site and run the well for four hours. The well company installs a meter at the well head. That meter will measure not only how many gallons per minute the well can pump with the existing pump (the size of the pump and the well shaft diameter can affect the amount of flow) but to measure how deep the water in the well was when the test started and how deep the water is at the end of the four hours.
Interpreting a well report is not within the expertise of a real estate agent, and the well drilling company is where all questions should be directed. The buyer should call the company after receiving the report and ask any and all questions about the well in order to help that buyer determine if the existing well will meet their needs now and into the future.
The other part of a well test is the potability. The standard test measures the existence of ecoli bacteria. If no ecoli bacteria are found, then the water is safe to drink. A more detailed analysis of the mineral content of the water can be requested, but the cost of that testing is usually paid for by the buyer.
Even in the current drought, most wells are still providing enough water for a buyers’ general use. However, the well report should be considered an absolute MUST before purchasing a home not only in Central California where the drought is currently very severe, but anywhere in the country.
The well drilling company is a wealth of information and their service to the buying community is invaluable.