question on wells VS very long water line

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Hello all,
We are about to start building our house which sits about 1000' from the road. We have city water available but are looking into having a well. I am told that the iron content is high in the area but folks on that street were on wells before the city water came in about 7-10 years back.
We are considering a well since a water line from the street back to the house will be very long, cross two creeks (one is rather large) and be in heavily wooded area. The lot is 7 acres and densely wooded except for what we have taken out for the driveway and house. I forsee a lot of problems with 1000+ feet of pipe near all the trees/roots.
Can high iron water be treated at the well/pump somehow to correct this? What are the prolems with high iron content? Is it unhealthy or foul tasting? We will be talking to folks in the business very soon and will get their opinions but I thought I would throw this question out to you guys.
Any input on the water line also appreciated.
Thanks!
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YYZedd wrote:

Questions on the city water line: Do you get freezing temps out there requiring the line to be deeply buried? What is the normal city pressure (PSI) at the street?
If deep burial is not needed AND city pressure is high (~80 psi) I would at least consider it. A trenching "plow" can bury plastic pipe quite rapidly. Maybe even consider a no-trench boring machine service. The creeks will need special consideration and design. The line will need to be over-sized to keep pressure drop reasonable.
Iron in the well (I'm *not* a well expert), can be filtered with a large sediment filter, then treated by a softener, and finally perhaps a chlorinator.
Besides the discoloration issue, iron bacteria (GOOGLE that) create a smelly situation.
Jim
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City water systems and their rates are to be avoided at all costs. Go with the well...
About iron in well water... http://dnr.wi.gov/org/water/dwg/iron.htm
"YYZedd" wrote in message

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On Thu, 20 Jul 2006 12:06:46 GMT, YYZedd wrote:

I live in a similar situation, but a little over twice as far from the city water. If your local water company is like ours, you'll have to get a paper signed by them allowing you to have a drinking well - they try to force you to use city water if they can. I have no idea of what is considered the minimum distance you can be from the water line and not have to connect - probably varies from company to company and the creeks may be a consideration also. The local company here said that since I have road frontage, where the water line is, I would have to hook up and didn't want to sign off until I made them look at a plat to see where the house was located in relation to their pipe, so be prepared to do so.
Before you start construction, if you're planning on copper water pipes, find out what the pH is of the well water in the area - the locals or the local well drilling company should be able to tell you. Here it is acidic due to dissolved CO2 and corrodes copper pipes pretty quickly. I had planned on copper plumbing, but changed to CPVC instead because of this.
Using a filter (I use whole house filter) with carbon will help remove some iron - problems depend on exactly how high the iron content is . Iron will give a metallic taste to the water. It can cause brown staining in tubs, sinks and toilets. It isn't particularly bad for you, could save having to take supplemental iron if you're anemic.
Here's a list of what the Extension Service checked when I had my test done in '97, including any maximums in effect at that time. Following it is an explanation of the letters on some items:
Element    EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (ppm except lead)
Aluminum    No Standard Boron        No Standard Cadmium    0.01 (P) Calcium    No Standard Chromium    0.05 (P) Copper        1.0 (S) Iron        0.30 (S) Magnesium    No Standard Manganese    0.05 (S) Molybdenum    No Standard Nickel        No Standard Phosphorus    No Standard Potassium    No Standard Sodium        No Standard Zinc        5.0 (S)
Lead (parts/billion)    15
The letter (P) beside an EPA Maximum Contaminant Level indicates that EPA has established a primary drinking water standard for this element. These are elements which have been shown to cause adverse health effects. The letter (S) indicates that EPA has established a secondary drinking water standard for this element. These elements are not generally considered threats to health, but can cause nuisance problems such as staining, tastes or odors. -------------------------------------------- Iron fits into the stain and taste categories, but I understand that iron bacteria (harmless to humans) can cause sulfurous smells.
My best advice is to ask the locals what they do to reduce the iron (if anything) and request a glass of water to see if you like the taste/smell. What really matters is if YOU like the water and how much staining you get (and are willing to deal/live with) from the minerals (not limited to iron). Minor staining is easy enough to control in sinks and tubs - there are treatments that can be put into toilets that claim to stop staining also, but I don't use them (have cats which occasionally drink from the toilet) so I dunno if they work or not.
Couple of other things to consider. Since you're so far from the water line, probably means you'll be on a septic tank.
I recommend that, if you can afford it, you go with a larger tank than is recommended by the local authority to allow for possible future expansion and less frequent pumpouts. I say this based on the recommendation of the fella that pumped my dad's tank when I asked him about house/tank size (was before I started construction on my current house) - he said to go with the largest tank you can afford, but I think that could be overkill, depending, of course, on what you can afford <G>. I went with 500 gal over the recommended size, and when I had it pumped after 7 years (no problem, preventative maintenance), the fella said to call him back in about 12 years unless I just liked spending money every 7.
About toilet treatments (and cleaning products in general) - you need to watch what chemicals (and how much bleach from cleaning/laundry) you put in there to keep from killing the bacteria that break down the waste. A larger tank helps dilute the chemicals - another reason to go with a larger tank.
Hope I've been of help. If you have any questions, drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer them if I can.
Later, Mike (substitute strickland in the obvious location to reply directly) ----------------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net
Please send all email as text - HTML is too hard to decipher as text.
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YYZedd wrote:

Before investing aniy time/money in a well, check to see if you will even be allowed to put one in. Many places do not allow them after municipal water is available. 1,000 ft and a couple creeks looks to me like grounds for a variance if the powers thiat be object to a well though.
Harry K
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YYZedd wrote:

Hi, I have a cabin which is on my own well as well as communal government approved well. If I were you, it's no brainer, I'd go for the city water. Once the pipe is run, that's it. I wouldn't want to deal with on going upkeep of the well water for your family's health and appliance and plumbing.
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Check on WHERE your responsibility for the pipes/pressure ends for the city and starts for you. If it's at your meter/street shutoff, near the house, it's the city's worry.
With a well, it'll be safe water or you wont' get a potability certificate for it. A little taste you get used to. Also, the cost/maintenance of a well might pay for a LOT of fixes to city-connected piping; it's expensive to drill; how deep will they need to go? You pay by the foot drilled as a rule. Also check to see if you'll have apenalty for using city sewers but not city water - inj some places it can make quite a difference, so you might end up wanting a septic, too at another 5 to 10k.
Pop

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YYZedd wrote:

There are at least two possible types of "iron"...
The first is ferric oxide...iron particles (rust, actually) that can be filtered.
The second is ferrous oxide which is black. Normally, it is in solution and invisible (and cannot be filtered) but when the water is exposed to air it converts to ferric oxide and stains fixtures, clothes and the like. A regular soft water unit is helpful in removing it if there isn't a lot in the water; if there is, you'll need a unit just for that purpose...they use potassium permanganate.
AFAIK, neither is unhealthy. Most water that is foul tasting/smelling is water with hydrogen sulfide, not iron.
--

dadiOH
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It is called hemochromatosis, look into it.
http://www.americanhs.org /
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Eric,
The link you posted is for a hereditary illness. The intestines tend to block the absorption of iron in normal people.
Dave M.
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David Martel wrote:

True, but not exactly rare "estimated 1 in 8 people as "silent carriers" and 1 in 100 to 200 people with the full blown disease" Source: http://www.americanhs.org /
I know it won't cause it, but if you are in the risk group it sure could tip the balance
Most people who have it don't even know they have it. Just pointing out a possible side effect, I know 4 people who have it. It has only been screened for the last few years, and then only by doctors who are aware of it.
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Try a water softener . will remove iron.
YYZedd wrote:

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Look your spendsing BIG BUCKS on the home, spend a little more for water and sewer if available.
Other utliities will have to be run, gas water electric sewer cable? Why worrry about just one?
There are hundreds of trillions of miles of water lines in service for decades nationwide.
plastic continious line doesnt care about roots.
you will spend lots to drill a well, continious costs to treat water, power outages mean no water and you will always worry about running well dry.
city water is the best way to go.
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Today our electric power was restored after a 43 hour outage. We had our city water and gas water heating. The house got warm but with flashlights we stayed there okay. In our previous house we had a well. No electric no water. Time in the house was limited to how much water we managed to get in the tubs before the storm and still no showers. Municipal water is reliable and usually pretty safe. Oh and someday you'll need a new well pump.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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A backup generater and propanetank makes you self sufficient Howard wrote:

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Yes, it will. The cost of a generator is equal to ten years of water bills. Doe snot add up for me, but you go right ahead and enjoy it.
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Stay away fromcitywater andsewer. Well and septic are
preferable. snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Not always.
The cost of my water/sewer is not much more than the maintenance of a well and septic system. There will always be exceptions on both side, but my sewer has never had a problem and I know of people that spent $10,000 to have a new leach field put in when the septic system failed.
In some places, you have no choice if water and sewer are on the street. You must hook up.
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Stay away fromcitywater andsewer. Well and septic are
preferable. snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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On 20 Jul 2006 13:05:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Words of a tried-and-true city person.
Admittedly the cost of drilling a well can be high, but 1000 ft or so of water line (crossing 2 creeks) installed and what the water company charges for a meter isn't cheap - would bet that the cost is similar. The cost of replacement for pump and pressure tank is minimal when spread over the lifetime of the item, probably similar or less than monthly water bill. The only cost I can see that might run the cost of having your own water up much above city water is treatment and that is depenent on what you want to attain.
Now, consider where the city water comes from - most water companies get their water from surface water (rivers/lakes) where everyone upstream has dumped their sewage. I'd much rather drink from a well than from the end of somebody else's $#!+ pipe. All the water company does is filter out the lumps and add all sorts of chemicals to try to kill the pathogens. Don't give me that crap about "if it wasn't safe, the government wouldn't let them do it" - find out where your water comes from and what's being put into it, then read up on the chemicals and consider how much sewage is in it. Might not be so happy with your city water after all. Remember, what's toxic to bacteria and such is also toxic to the cells that it comes in contact with in your body . What damage is it doing over time?
The supposed excessive cost of a backup generator to have well water during an outage, mentioned in another post, is just silly. A generator provides other uses beside just pumping water. You can have power well away from the house if needed (mine has gotten the most usage in this way), and during outages, run your (gas) furnace to keep warm in winter, use lights, run the water heater for hot showers and keep the stuff in the fridge and freezer from spoiling. Probably would be a 10 year payback if you just consider pumping water, but the other things (particularly preventing food spoilage and convenience) can cut deep into that payback time - particularly if you had to rent a generator to do some work (like constructing an outbuilding) away from the house.
As for sewer being the best alternative, proper care of a septic system drastically increases the length of time that a drainfield lasts so that replacement cost is spread over 20-30 years, possibly even more depending on soil type. The amount of time between pumpouts can be increased with proper care and by installing a larger tank than the local authorities require - they base their calculations on the number of bathrooms and, to my knowledge, have no allowance for other water-using appliances. Tanks come in standard sizes, just go up one or more sizes from what's recommended. When I had my tank pumped after 7 years (new system and had it pumped to help figure timeframe for pumpouts), splitting the cost over the time period gives $2.38 per month and the fella told me to wait 10-12 years to call again. Never had a sewer bill, but I bet the monthly bill is somewhat more.
All in all, I see the cost of city water/sewer quite comparable to well/septic moneywise in the case that the OP proposed. Being on a well and in control of your water supply so that YOU and ONLY YOU determine what, if any, chemicals are added is a great benefit.
Later, Mike (substitute strickland in the obvious location to reply directly) ----------------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net
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