Whether you're in the country because you're tired of paying for expensive water bills or because you have heard well water might be better than the city's water supply, getting your own water well drilled can be an exciting, potentially beneficial addition to your home. Whether you should drill or not is another question, and there are many factors to consider before making such a large investment, such as cost, water availability and water quality.
How much a well costs is a common question, and for good reason: they can get pretty expensive. An initial installation may cost you between $5,000 and $10,000 because of all the equipment needed, and the total cost is usually decided on a per-foot basis. Wells can go hundreds of feet down, so it can get pricey.
Because you own your well, you're also responsible for 100 percent of the maintenance costs, much like a septic system. If you need to make any repairs or have the water or well tested and inspected, you pay all those costs out of pocket. However, wells can last between 30 to 50 years -- sometimes more -- with minimal maintenance, so the upfront cost is worth it for many.
Depending on where you live, it may be hard to reach available water -- if it's possible at all. There are a few reasons why water may not be available.
- The water may be too far down to dig a well
- There may be obstructions in the way, such as a layer of solid rock, which can prevent drilling
You should also consider how your state is affected by drought. Drought can drastically lower the water tables, so a well that is deep enough during some parts of the year may not be deep enough to provide water during a drought. You can ask your state's geological survey personnel for recommendations and assistance here.
Many well users will say that their water is of better quality, but you should have your water tested before you decide to invest. The reason well water can be better than city water is because you are pulling it from the ground and using it yourself rather than using a system designed to distribute water on a massive scale; because of the process used to obtain and clean water, city water may have a strange taste even if it's not bad for you.
However, owning a well means that you're responsible for testing your own water. You should have your water tested on an annual basis, and more often than that if you notice any strange colors, odors or tastes in the water.
Getting a well installed can involve a lot of paperwork to get the permits and information you need, but your state's municipal agencies can help you find out what you need. The permit process tends to be more tedious than expensive.
It is possible to drill a well yourself, but if you've never done anything like it before, you should hire the services of a well driller like Schlegelmilch Plumbing & Well Drilling. They have the equipment necessary to drill whatever kind of well you need, and can probably get the job done more quickly and safer than if you were to attempt it yourself. This is especially important if it turns out you need to drill very deep to get an appropriate water supply or if you're worried about contaminants; a driller can properly set up and seal the well to ensure it lasts a long time without deteriorating and affecting your water.