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Well Flow Rate Tests, Water Tests and Well Inspections for Potential Home Buyers
Don't buy a home without having the well tested first.
If you are purchasing a home in the Capital Region of Upstate New York that is serviced by a well and not by public water it is in your best interest to have it tested and reviewed by a certified well contractor as part of your contingency of sale. Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home in the near future and your home relies on well water, you should know and prep your well before listing your home so as to avoid issues that may be found during a potential home buyer's well inspection and water quality tests.
Water Flow Rate Tests, Water Quality Testing and a General Well Inspection are all essential to understanding the condition of the well and water quality.
When you are looking to buy (or sell) a home with a well, you are going to want to test both the quantity and quality of water. Both of these tests are equally important as you want to make sure the water is safe but that you will also have enough water to service the size and usage of the home properly.
Around the Upstate NY Capital Region and surrounding areas, we see many wells with various levels of contaminants including coliform bacteria, sulfur, manganese, and iron. VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) and radon are less common but nevertheless can be found. While these should not prevent you from buying a home, you should know before you purchase a home what you are dealing with and how much it will cost to improve the water quality.
The type and depth of a well will greatly affect its potential for contamination and the consistency of available water flow. Most residential wells around the Albany, NY area range from the shallow or dug type under 25ft in depth on many older properties to more modern drilled wells 100-300 ft deep or more. Shallow wells generally involve more risk and attention to ensure acceptable water system performance. Safewelltech excels at providing permanent solutions to improve well performance and water quality without resorting to the cost-prohibitive alternative of drilling a new well.
Well Flow Rate Test
In NY State, it is required that a residential well produces a minimum of 3-5 gallons per minute. Generally, for older homes, a 3-gallon minimum is required and for new homes 5 gallons per minute. During your inspection process, Safewelltech will perform a flow rate test on your well. The flow refers to the amount of water coming from the well, and the flow rate measures the gallons per minute being dispersed. The average home needs 100 to 120 gallons per person per day and a flow rate of about 6 to 12 gallons per minute.
Safewelltech will also do a general inspection of your well and give you an assessment based on the age of the well and well pump as to what you should consider budgeting for replacement and maintenance of the well in the future.
Water Quality Testing
Also as part of a home buyer's inspection process, a water sample from the tap at the home will be taken and then sent to a qualified NY State water testing lab. You will receive a report from the lab that details the water results.
Standard water tests in NY State check for such things as PH, hardness, alkalinity, and turbidity. Standard mineral testing will often include things like iron, calcium, manganese, copper, fluoride, Chloride and others. Coliform bacteria and E.coli are also checked. Safewelltech also recommends you check for VOC’s and radon.
The lab will list what the water contains along with the passing limits for each element. Safewelltech will review the results to help you understand any issues or concerns.
If the well tests positive for Coliform or E.Coli, it will often need to be treated before the sale of the home can be completed. See our Well Shocking Service page for more details on this process.
Well Shocking Services
My well has tested positive for bacteria now what?
If your well has tested positive for Coliform or E.coli bacteria Safewelltech recommends a shock chlorination disinfection treatment to remove these contaminants. If you are in the process of selling your home and your well has tested positive for Coliform or E.coli often you will need to have your well "shocked" to remove these bacteria before it can be cleared for sale.
During a shock chlorination service Safewelltech introduces very high levels of chlorine into your water system. We ensure all parts of your water system and plumbing are treated. We also inspect and disinfect your well head and well casing to ensure they are properly sealed and do not have any cracks that will allow new contaminants into your well.
Well shocking provides a one time disinfection of your water system. Safewelltech includes a follow-up water test to ensure your system is cleared of contaminates. It is important to note depending on your source of contamination, your water may again have exposure to bacteria and an annual "shock" service or a more regular water treatment plan may need to be established.
Well Shocking services for Albany, NY region
To ensure your household has consistent access to safe water, Safewelltech recommends well owners test their water annually or after any maintenance or replacement well or plumbing work has been done to ensure the well has not been contaminated. It is particularly important to test a well if at any time, change in taste, odor or appearance of the water is noticed.
For more information on Coliform contamination in your well water, check out our blog post "My Well has Coliform, Should I Drink my Water."