Friday, March 9, 2012

Water update

After being told by our water well owner it will probably be at least Wednesday before we have water again, we went into "flip out" mode.  I called her back and spoke with her daughter (an adult in her 50's) and asked if they have ever heard of overnight UPS or FedEx.  She proceeded to tell me her mom is doing her best and doesn't have a lot of money to spend on repairs.  According to the owner and another neighbor I just spoke on the phone with, the last time she had to pay for a major repair was 2006, so she's had about 5 years of everyone's water payments she could have been building up - that's over $5k, less monthly electric (which is minimal).  She wants to use a well repair person who does this as a side job, so he is not available during normal work hours. There's half the problem right there!

I took Quest's advice and contacted our county health dept and spoke with a helpful gentleman who took our well owner's name and phone number so he could call and tell her her timeline for repair is unacceptable and put a little pressure on her.  She didn't answer his call, so he left a message, along with his cell phone # (it's getting close to 5pm now) for her to call after hours. He will call me back this evening if he hears back from her.  A county worker who works after hours? I'm impressed!


  1. Awesome, you called the health department on an elderly lady to whom you only pay $110 a year for water. Maybe you could actually help her. How many years have you benefited from this extremely cheap water?

    Glad you aren't my neighbor. Dig your own well and stop complaining.

  2. Well, if we could dig our own well, we would. The county won't allow any more wells to be put in our neighborhood. And we have suggested she SHOULD charge more than $120 per year for water and have numerous times offered that she could raise our rate. There was also a few years where we were using some extra water (not much, but we felt it was right to pay her more) and we paid her double her rate to everyone else, our idea. When we stopped using the extra water she put our rate back down, even when I told her she didn't have to. She may be elderly now, but she's got 3 capable adult sons and daughters living on the properties around her who can help her too. The problem is she does not put the water payments into a separate account for well maintenance (as she should be doing) and then when there is a problem she doesn't have the money to pay for it. I called the county in order to find out what right/options we have as users of the well (this is our only water option). I believe it's my right to call the county and learn this. As a well owner, there are rules she must follow and she is not. 6 days without water is a health hazard when you can't even flush your toilets.

  3. I'm going to jump in here LOL

    @Anon ~ Whether the 'lady' is elderly or whether the water is 'cheap' is irrelevant. As a community well owner, it is THAT person's responsibility to escrow all payments received, keep books, mail the well users a statement of well cleanliness/testing and repair, even to hold community meetings! It is NOT acceptable to take monthly payments and then spend that money in Vegas, on your car, in restaurants, on the mortgage, on the family, etc etc. The well owner has a responsibility to the people who use that well and, in this case, it is obvious that the woman has spent the money, leaving everyone without water. How is that acceptable to you? How is that NOT a health violation? As for digging a well, get real. There is far more to it than taking a shovel out back and digging a hole!! Aside from the expense (digging a well cost upwards of $25,000 in my region and that was 5 years ago), one also has to consider the depth of the water table and other environmental/pollution concerns.

    Also, it is the woman's responsibility to conduct feasibility studies and to charge the market rate for water. Age is no excuse. I think that this is a deplorable situation and one that must be dealt with immediately.

    @One Family ~ If you are still without water, you have my sympathy. Keep on the backs of the health department because if you don't, you'll probably be without water all of next week too.

    1. Thanks Quest -you explained it perfectly! She totally has a responsibility to do all this and she does none of it, other than getting the water tested yearly. The county employee has been awesome. He even gave me his cell phone# and said to call him over the weekend if any more problems or even to let him know if we by chance got it fixed.