LOCAL WATER WELL TESTING
Drinking Water Quality Reports
It's recommended that domestic drilled water wells in the Fraser Valley be tested for water quality once a year. The well water may look fine and taste great... even if no one has become sick it does not mean there is not an issue with the water quality.
There are two water quality test categories that should be performed, one is the bacteriological test which will focus on the Coli-form, E. Coli, Fecal, Non-Coli-form and Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) also known as the Standard Plate Count, the test can even include mold and fungi. These tests are extremely important in determining the drinking water safety and the best time of year to take a sample to the lab is during the wet weather seasons.
To learn more please take a look at the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.
If there's a leaky well seal, run-off or other surface water entering and contaminating the well it will have a much better chance of showing up during the wet seasons. Winter and early spring in the Fraser Valley is generally quite wet... but anytime of the year is much better then never testing at all!
The Second Category
The other water quality testing category is the water chemistry and physical parameters. The chemical testing of your well water should also be done annually until there some safe history behind the well. Once there are a few years of safe reports in place with little change then testing every 3-5 years could be considered. The highest priority is microbial contamination and one category test can always be run independent of the other.
The water chemistry report will tell a story to someone who is familiar with reading water chemistry. There may be chemical contaminates present in well water that are known carcinogens and then others reports will not indicate a health concern but the report will certainly determine how that specific water chemistry will be to live with on a daily basis for domestic purposes.
Every well will differ... just because the neighbors well report indicates a possible concern or contamination issue it does not mean the surrounding wells will have the same issue. It's important that you have your own independent water report.
Not all water chemistry reports are going indicate an issue either... some reports are awesome and then others certainly may not be so fortunate.
Real Estate with Water Wells
This is a whole other topic... when purchasing Real Estate with a water well in the Fraser Valley it's just like almost anywhere else, there's often little recourse and very much a buyer beware situation. That's the same whether you are a purchaser or a vendor of property serviced by a private domestic water well.
Although you may be represented by an excellent Fraser Valley Realtor® there may also not be much focus on the water well at the time of purchase. This is for a few reasons but a couple may be the fact that water well issues can stall a sale or in some cases interrupt it completely so unless questions are asked then very little information may be provided or offered.
Also the Realtor® may not have much experience with selling or listing Real Estate in the Fraser Valley serviced by water wells and unfortunately there's very little education provided in the industry.
Remember, the job of a real estate agent is to facilitate the sale between and buyer and seller... almost none of them are experts on giving water well advice. It's highly advised that you hire your own expert representation and request not only a full water well and system inspection but also don't neglect to get a septic inspection as well, even if these reports are not requested by your lending institution.
It's important to know that once the sale is completed you have little leverage and legal issues are not only costly but very stressful... this is a word of advice from a lot of experience.
To read a great article about Real Estate with Water Wells issues please CLICK HERE.
Do You Have a Water Well Question?