Sharing well and pump--how much should we charge?

Why not assume that the capital costs heretofore have been paid equitably between both properties, and then enter into an agreement that each one of you will pay a fund to maintain the system. The fund would be in joint ownership and run with each one of your lots,
Once a pre-determined maintenance reserve fund is established, the funds would sit and draw interest. In the event of a failure, the fund would have sufficient reserve to pay for parts and labor to replace.
As far as electric costs, a Hobbs meter can be installed to see how many hours a month the pump runs. The electric cost can be derived by multiplying the hours times the rate of consumption, and then by the electric rate. The neighbor would be responsible for half.
This would be a good deal for both of you.
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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Well, for one thing, there is nothing to suggest who paid for what.
and then enter into an agreement that each one of

That's very debateable. If you had the opportunity to share your well with a neighbor under these conditions, would you?

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On Feb 26, 2:33 pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not without a lot more details in the agreement. In case you missed it somehow, _that_ is what the thread is about.
Harry K
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replying to trader4, RayRay wrote: well, just break down the costs. you gotta know gallons / kwh of running the pump. that will give you an idea of total water usage from all water usage. then split that cost. even though you are using less water. or charge them 2/3 or 3/4 of electric cost to run the pump. as for wear take the total life expectancy of a well pump, plus FUTURE estimated replacement cost and divide it to get a yearly, then monthly "wear & tear" figure. that would be fair to me . my situation is a girlfriend with nephew, his gf and her daughter w/o water for over a year now coming over to use my shower , get water to flush their toilet and do laundry. I've had enpugh of it and want to calculate their water usage (even estimated) so I can inform them the size of the favor I pay for the additional usage they cause.
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If you are not going to divide the total cost equally, use water meters. Real meters are not cheap unless you can get a deal on used ones from the utility. I think the easiest way is just to run a tab and have all of the users chip in equally. If you need to meter the electricity, used electric meters are really cheap since utilities are moving to smart meters.
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The original post is 9 years old.
Exactly what do you do to find 9 year old posts and why do you waste time replying to them?
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On 7/27/2017 8:44 PM, RayRay wrote:

I pay $60/month for water and sewer for 2 of us. Depending on frequency of visit, $30 would seem reasonable.
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That is fairly cheap or you do not use much water. Around here $60 would get you about 3700 gallons of water/sewer with the fixed fees according to the chart. I am not sure if there are additional taxes on that tho.
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I have one neighbour off my well - he pays me $ 250. per year and any maintenance / repair of the shared plant is split 50-50. The line from my property to his is his problem alone. It is a written agreement that is legally "attached" to our deed. The cost hasn't changed since the 2 homes were built in 1991. My lawyer says that I can cancel the agreement but would need to give him significant time to make other arrangements - like a year .. My other neighbour was being a nice guy and only charged his neighbour $ 35. per year - and he has regretted it ever since - the guy has been a jerk .. John T.
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On 7/27/2017 9:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Our water bill out here in the woods runs about 25 bucks a month for the two of us unless I'm watering the garden . Then it will spike up to around 35 max - no sewer charge since we're too far out and have a septic system .
--
Snag
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On 7/27/2017 10:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

My last bill was for 6000 gallons and water was $113, sewer was $93. The sewer is a flat rate quarterly. It is pretty consistent every quarter.
We could cut the bill by going naked all the time to eliminate laundry. Instead of doing dishes, just eat right out of the pot.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

If the tank is just connected to the incoming line, then the neighbor is probably benefitting too. When he opens a valve in his house, the water will come from your tank, flowing back from your house to the junction where his water line comes off, until the pressure drops enough for the pump to turn on. But this isn't ideal for him (there will be a pressure drop through all that pipe) and certainly isn't ideal for you (you're providing water from your tank to his house).
A partial fix for this is to put a check valve between the incoming pipe and your house including the pressure tank. That way, water that has made it into your tank stays in the tank, for your benefit, and your pressure doesn't drop suddenly when the other guy opens a tap.
But this may make the pump run more often than is ideal. The solution to that is for your neighbor to add his own pressure tank, at his expense. If he's not willing to do this now, when it's clearly mostly for his own benefit, how willing will he be to pay half the cost of a replacement pump when it fails?
    Dave
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On Feb 26, 3:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@cs.ubc.ca (Dave Martindale) wrote:

Good job at inventing new problems that haven't been stated and have nothing to do with the question.
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2008 21:49:30 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Talk to the developer. After all, it's only been a year. Find out some more facts from him. You did have inspectors out when the house was built this year, right? Call their office for documents.
Some places in the desert of Las Vegas, NV have up to 12 homes on community wells. Apparently, the wells and all on are on an easement...but I don't know for certain. Again, as others say! Check your documents.
Is the well on his property and you agreed to pay the electric bill, because of a slight oversight?
-- Oren
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You should have had the agreement down on paper from the beginning.
If things got nasty, there's no telling of how it would turn out.
Does your ownership agreement say _anything_ about this? Is it listed as an easement?
I think it's _way_ too late to consider recouping the cost of the initial installation. Chalk that up to experience, and don't do it again.
You could purchase a Killawatt meter and monitor the power consumption for a month or more, split the power consumption in half, and bill him for that at the current going rate. This only works if the pump is 120V (and preferably plug-connected). Killawatts are only about $40. At 240V, I dunno of any solutions that cheap.
As for maintenance - the common plumbing elements are: well, pump, pressure tank, and anything else his water goes through before it goes off to his house. Like a water softener. He should pay half the repair bills of any equipment in your place it goes through before it gets to his. If he objects to that, you will have to consider whether it's in your best interest to eat the costs, or go the legal route.
Without some pre-agreement on maintenance, paper or otherwise, you may well be screwed. A court may consider what little agreement that there was to be a binding "contract", in which case you're stuck with it. Legal advice is advised, but don't threaten/start proceedings until you're ready to make a long term enemy.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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Wow! Lots of responses! Thanks for all the advice.
I'm surprised the mere idea of well sharing is so foreign to everyone. It's very common in Wisconsin. It makes a lot of sense. There are rarely any problems, and I personally have never heard of any first-hand. Sharing a well causes no problems with deeds, mortgages, buying, selling, etc. Our deed, and our neighbor's deed, both have the same language regarding the well and pump, and the deeds were reviewed by attorneys, title companies, lenders, etc. This is all legit.
My only problem is *HOW* to split the electricity. We both agree that we'll split it, and our deeds stipulate that we'll split it, but how do we split it? I'm waiting to hear back from my neighbor to see if he agrees on a reasonable amount like $15/mo. I have no reason to believe he'll argue about it. If he does, I'll just have to install a meter on that circuit, watch it for a few months to come up with an average, and then charge based on that. If the cost of a meter is reasonable, I may do that regardless, as I'm a lover of information, and I'd just like to know how much juice the pump uses.
I'm satisfied that the cost to run the circuit in the first place is negligible, and I won't bother my neighbor with that. Besides, we'd have to run that circuit even if we didn't share a well, and our neighbor had to run a similar circuit to control the pump, so it's not worth analyzing.
As for the pressure tank... I'm going to have a non-biased third party plumber look at the installation and make sure it's fare, and explore the "check valve" to make sure my neighbor doesn't benefit from it, or, if necessary, figure out what initial costs should be shared.
Thanks for all the information everyone!
- Johnnie
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On Feb 26, 5:27 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If it's all so common and a swell idea that doesn't lead to any problems, why are you here asking questions about how to resolve it?

And what happens when he says, screw you, you're charging me too much, I'm only paying half? Or when lightning hits the pump and you pay for it's replacement? Or he sells the place and the new neighbor decides to put in an irrigation system for 2 acres of lawn?

That's cool. How about the cost of the well and pump? Who paid for that? Here we call guys like you a sucker.
 Besides, we'd

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

we share a well with the well's owner (whos never here) and another neighbor. the well's owner charges us $35 a year and i know that i use alot more water than he does cj in michigan
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: ...

Well, you left out the part of it being included in the deeds, easements, etc. The discussion was over the case in which, as it sounded like from the original post, one property owner was supplying water to an adjacent lacking anything other than a very nebulous verbal arrangement for power.

If the agreement were were complete, it would adjudicate the split as well.
Lacking a formal agreement, estimating is fine if you and the neighbor are both agreeable. Whether that's equitable depends on relative water use, though, not simply the power charge. While the incremental operational cost isn't probably enough to worry about excessively, what about the distribution of repair costs, etc? Are they to be shared 50:50 or on some estimated basis or what? If one uses far more over time than the other, is it fair that that user pay less than the fractional amount of water used?
The point really isn't that you and the current neighbor couldn't work this all out between the two of you (although I'm curious as another respondent that if there weren't some friction that you would feel prompted to post the question to usenet) without anything further, but the scenario of future neighbors who may not be so easygoing. If there's a firm legal basis for all the ancillary costs besides simply the incremental power cost, then there's a basis for settlement that minimizes potential bickering. Again, the basis for this shouldn't be to try to favor one party over the other but to make it an equitable (and well-defined) arrangement. ...

As a shared well, what's not "fair" about him gaining some "benefit" from the pressure tank -- it's part of the system and the _system_ is shared. One would presume the well feeds the pressure tank and the tank then feeds both properties.
Again, the agreement should include the system and costs for maintaining it, not simply the operational costs.
What happens if the well fails and you're out of town for an extended period? The neighbor have access to everything they need to get the problem resolved before you return?
So many questions, so few answers...
--
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You could measure the time the pump runs by adding a clock to the circuit. The amount of electricity used by the pump can be measured with a amp meter or watt meter.
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