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jettejette

From piped water to well water

Having had a massive water bill following several estimates, I am again, flirting with the idea of ditching this costly, foul tasting, chemical smelling water and making use of our well instead. Does anyone have experience of doing this, how did you go about it and most important of all - how much did it cost to convert?
Ty Gwyn

Beings you have the pipework from your mains stop tap,your cost will be piping the water from your well to this existing pipework,plus what ever cost is needed regarding your well,ie .is it gravity flow or a pump needed?

Plus of course the testing of the water quality in your well,this used to be done by the council years back,not sure who now.
Nick

The council remain legally responsible, but disperse this by telling you to do it yourself.
Nick

Beings you have the pipework from your mains stop tap,your cost will be piping the water from your well to this existing pipework,plus what ever cost is needed regarding your well,ie .is it gravity flow or a pump needed?

Plus of course the testing of the water quality in your well,this used to be done by the council years back,not sure who now.


And changing any part of the system that requires pressure. You'll probably pump to tanks in the loft and have most things gravity fed. Our well pump was around 250 I think. It's all I know about because it's all I've had to replace, except our filtration system, which was around four quid.
Piggyphile

Perhaps a stupid question but does your well have deep water in it all year round? Our well level drops with the water table and in a drought goes dry. We have a deeper borehole instead which is reliable and can produce a households water all year round including watering plants as required.
Behemoth

A couple of things:

As a minimum the company should read you meter at least every two years, most try to do it twice a year and will take your own readings if they cant get access to the property. If they haven't read it and you haven't denied access or received a request to provide a reading you might have a complaint worth persuing.

Why is the bill unepextedly large? Do you have a leak that's compounding the issue of the meter not being read? If you have a leak you have grounds for a rebate.

Don't know if you're connected to mains drainage but you would still have to pay that unless you have a spetic tank.

Taste is subjective. The taste will depend on the source. You might not like the taste of the mains supply and there's no guarentee you'll like the tast of your groundwater. If the 'chemical taste/smell relates to chlorine you can get rid of it by letting a jug of water stand in the fridge for a few hours and it will disipate. Its also driven off by boiling. treat is as a perishable product.
Graham Hyde

Hi Jettejette.
I don't know your location but switching from mains to the well is a good idea but check the water quality first. The mains may be soft water and the well hard.
We have a spring with water draining from igneous rocks producing soft water but the well is on sandstone and the water is very hard producing deposit buildups in kettles and pipes.
This is not a reason for you not to change but you may have to incorporate a softner into your system. Good luck!
Regards,
Graham
Ty Gwyn

[quote="Behemoth:

Why is the bill unepextedly large? Do you have a leak that's compounding the issue of the meter not being read? If you have a leak you have grounds for a rebate.

Does`nt the location of the leak from the meter depend on who`s responsibility it is?
ie.from the meter to the property its the property owners responsibility.
kGarden

We read (and record, in a spreadsheet) our meter readings (Water and Electricity) each week. I am curious to know, over time, if our energy saving measures are improving compared to a baseline, but I am also keen to know if we have a water leak / something left on.

When an estimated bill comes in if it is higher than the meter reading I pay them, if it is lower I submit my own reading. If the price goes up between now-and-next-time I don't want to, then, pay the higher rate for what I used previously. If the company sends me a high reading I pay it - its their problem if the price goes up before the next reading and, as has happened in the past, it appears that I have used almost nothing in that period.
Behemoth

[quote="Behemoth:

Why is the bill unepextedly large? Do you have a leak that's compounding the issue of the meter not being read? If you have a leak you have grounds for a rebate.

Does`nt the location of the leak from the meter depend on who`s responsibility it is?
ie.from the meter to the property its the property owners responsibility.


Technically a Water company's responsibility ends at the boundary with the property and all the pipe work beyond belongs to the customer. Meters are often sited at this point and you are responsible for all the consumption beyond it. However companies will give a rebate for the first leak on the underground pipe on the grounds that it might not have been immediately obvious and the large meter reading is the first indication of a leak. Only one rebate will be given as the expectation is that if the pipe is old and shonky you replace it.

Of course this only applies to externally sited meters which the company should be able to access and read. If the meter is fitted internally any leak should be fairly apparent in the property.
Cathryn

We have our own water supply. It's very nice but we have to add a filter tank to it that is changed every two years as the water is acidic. It eats through copper pipes (and invariably causes floods in rooms you have only just decorated). jettejette

We do think its a case of several low estimates but will check for leaks. We have had two over the last few years. Our meter is about a mile away in a farm gate, and I do read it on occasions (not as often as I ought), but when the weather has been wet, the hole where the meter is, fills with water so I can't read it anyway.
Apparently we are responsible for the mile of pipe running over two fields and through a farm, from the meter to our house - I checked this with Ofwat. When we had our last leak I contacted the water company to find out the route the pipes ran. They said they didn't know as the pipes had been laid over twenty (or it may have been thirty) years ago. I asked who would have a map, they said try the council. On contacting the council, they didn't have the information either. So you can see why well water looks quite enticing. 😕
Falstaff

A mile of pipe ! runs through a farm you say !

I'd be wondering just how many "unofficial" connections there were to that pipe !
Mistress Rose

Sounds as if well water may be an advantage for you Jettejette, but you may want to consider a few things that others have raised. You will need to get your well water analysed to make sure it is potable, and it might be very different from the mains supply. As Graham has said, you might be changing from soft to hard water. There is also the problem of whether the well will run dry. It will not contain the chlorine that the mains water contains, so mustn't be stored static for too long otherwise it can grow things.

Have you tried dowsing to find the route of the pipe? It can be quite effective.
jettejette

A neighbour used a dowser to find a leak. That worked pretty well in the dry weather. Not sure about when the ground is so saturated aas it is now. Nick

It will work just as well with saturated ground. Mistress Rose

There should be a difference between a water pipe and saturated ground. A good dowser might be able to find if the pipe has a leak too, but never tried that so I don't know. I think I can tell the difference between electricity, gas and water cables/pipes. Husband knew a man who could tell the size of a telephone cable, the large ones I mean, and he was accurate too. Nick

Yep. It will work equally well in all those cases and in wet or dry conditions. That will not affect it at all. crofter

Yep. It will work equally well in all those cases and in wet or dry conditions. That will not affect it at all.

I thought it might work better in the wet. More dilution effect?
Nick

Yep. It will work equally well in all those cases and in wet or dry conditions. That will not affect it at all.

I thought it might work better in the wet. More dilution effect?

Nope. It simply doesn't work anywhere, under any conditions.

http://www.skeptics.com.au/publications/articles/australian-skeptics-divining-test/
dpack

there is prize money for a positive proof still available afaik

gpr /electroresistance/magnetometer readings /vibration analysis(passive or active)/extrapolation from observed surface features will find a lot of stuff underfoot that eludes those with a forked stick or rock on a string.

forked stick dipped in snake oil has a zero record of finding the target in any of many well constructed tests
dpack

ps

by looking at surface level features and evidence recorded from a variety of diggings around the area and the road routes and the odd shape of the hump of land we live on top of (it seems unnatural based on standard river flood plain topography) im fairly certain of what is below .

im not going to dig a well here as i recon we live over the north western edge of the biggest roman cemetery outside the walls of york and lead coffin thoughts would put me off the idea of well digging.

a worm hole test pit might confirm or deny that about 4 metres down Laughing

or i could shake a stick and suggest "dig here"might have archeology
Behemoth

You need permission to dig holes in York. There's a specific act. oldish chris

Has anyone any idea why the developed world moved away from wells to piped water?

The stuff that comes out of your tap is continuously monitored for pollutants and bacteria and is disinfected. Factors affecting the flavour are chlorine (obviously), "hardness" (Calcium Hydrogen Carbonate and Magnesium Carbonate) and other minerals, such as Potassium and Sodium Chloride. All sorts of gadgets are available to reduce the amount of these substances. such as ion-exchange resins, activated charcoal, or simply boiling. (Drink either beer or tea - which is what everyone had to do prior to piped water.)

I'd put in a new pipe. Not sure, but I don't think that digging a trench is required these days.
dpack

You need permission to dig holes in York. There's a specific act.

for good reasons imho Laughing
Ty Gwyn

Most mains services through farm land from the meter would have been done by Mole plough,

The topography will tell you nothing about where it lies.
Mistress Rose

If you don't believe in dowsing, fine. I find it works well for me. I equally believe that geophysics can work, and think they work on the same principle. I don't use a forked stick dipped in snake oil, just metal dowsing rods.

If we dig a well here, which would be quite deep, we would be getting the same water that comes out of our taps except for the chlorine. This isn't always the case of course, but as you say Chris, at least you know what is in tap water, and as in Dpacks case, you could be going though some rather unpleasant things that could get into the water.
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