Friday, March 9, 2012

Got water?

We are on a private community water well that one of our neighbors owns.  I think there are 8 or 9 homes on this well.  About the only advantage of this is the fact that we have super cheap water.  We have been paying $10 a month for over 20 years, but there are sure a lot of disadvantages and right now, after now going on our 16th hour without water, I'd jump at the chance to have city water and gladly pay for it!

The lady that owns the well drives me nuts.  She is elderly and retired but always plays dumb about anything to do with well problems. She is supposed to take the monthly payments and put in an account just for well maintenance, but obviously she does not.  The well seems to break down every few years, so here's my math: 9 homes x $10 a month is $1080 a year x 3 years between problems = $3240.  The well runs on electricity, so when the power goes out, so does our water.  Apparently, it would be too much to take some of the water payments and invest in a small generator.  Currently, something in the pump is broken, since yesterday afternoon.  She doesn't want to pay for an "emergency" call so told us she couldn't get someone out here until 5:30 Friday afternoon. My dh blew a cork (well he was nice to her on the phone, but still mad) and told her that isn't acceptable when she's responsible for 8 -9 families water. It will most likely need a part replaced and of course at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon, we'd be looking at Monday most likely to finally have water!

She then wanted to start complaining that $10 a month isn't enough.  My dh told her that MANY times over the years HE has told her she needs to raise her rates.  We'd be more than happy to pay $20 a month.  I either pay our water every 6 months or 12 months in advance. One of our other neighbors pays yearly in advance. The rest of the neighbors, other than 2, are all related to her and none of them pay regularly.  Our neighbor that pays yearly told her he wouldn't have a problem paying more either, but he's not going to pay more just because she can't get the others to pay her at all!

Supposedly, she did get the repair guy to come out late last night, but obviously he couldn't fix it and we have no water still.  Honestly, if it wasn't for my dh bitching at her every time (seems to be every few years) something breaks on the well, she and her family would be totally content to go a week without water. None of them have jobs or school to get ready for.  Her grandson's that live next door to her deal drugs all day.

Can you tell I'm in a grumpy mood?!  Well, at least I had some water stored up in the cupboard and got my coffee this morning, even if I can't take a shower...


  1. OMG I'm sorry but the situation is untenable! The woman SHOULD have a special escrow account set aside, into which all water bill payments from the families go, and from which she should be paying maintenance bills. Is the well water ever tested? Is is maintained on a regular basis? I used to live on a shared well at the ex-custom home and, if ever there was a problem, they were all over it and had it fixed pronto. No excuses. We'd even receive a water safety and test cleanliness report every 6 months. I guess we were lucky and didn't know it.

    The woman is causing a health and safety issue. If that well isn't fixed within 24 hours, I would call the health department and report her. Also, $10/month is way cheap! Not sure how she can keep the well clean and in good working order AND make a little on the side ... maintenance is expensive O_o

    Hope you get your water turned on soon!

    1. She just called and says the guy had to order a part and it won't be until WED!!! Seriously? You've got to be kidding me! My Dh told her to find someone else to fix it and hung up on her. Supposedly, they have it tested with the county yearly, but when I looked into it more with the county it's basically an honor system. They take their own sample into the county and it gets tested. I asked the county how they would know it's water from our well or water they went and pulled out of a friend's city water? It's a joke. We don't drink it after we found that out years ago.

      Calling the health dept is a good idea - I'll mention it to Dh. She should be putting the $ into an escrow but I know she doesn't and 5 out of the nine homes are her relatives and they are all a bunch of losers and don't pay her. We have another neighbor on our street who owns 2 of the lots and he rarely pays her either. I say turn their water off then, but I guess she legally can't or something.

  2. What a bad situation.
    Are you really surprised at this crap given what you've told us about the arrangement?
    Charging so little for water, I'd be suspicious that there IS a fund for repairs/maintenance.

    The thing that crossed my mind(after the obvious one about dealing with the emergency situation at hand and getting water back asap)is what steps can I take to avoid this kind of situation in the future?
    If you own your home only, is there other water sources that can be explored? Like a municipal system nearby that can be hooked into, or having your own well dug? If this sort of issue is still going on when you go to sell your home, having another source for water or just even an option to tell your potential buyers about would go a long way to making your property more salable.

    I know....I'm off on a tangent and you really don't even want to go there now....sorry. I just get ideas in my head and start running with them. ;-)

    An old lady who does whatever she feels like with drug dealing kin living nearby and deadbeat neighbors? You've got the beginning of a best seller

    1. unfortunately we have no other water options. The county won't let any more wells be dug and they won't run city water to our properties. The guy at the county said they will be offering her some education and resources on how to manage a well and it's maintenance. No, I'm sure there isn't a fund for maintenance. Ourselves and one other neighbor are the only ones who pay regularly and her families don't even give her the $10/mo it sounds like.