Thursday, June 27, 2013

Water woes...again

We are having water well problems again and back to dealing with the well owner who should win an Oscar for "playing dumb". Us and one neighbor are the only ones that complain when there is a problem...why? because we are the only ones paying her regularly for our water service! So, then she acts like there is nothing wrong with the well, we must have a problem with the pipes on our property. DH just can't handle dealing with her anymore (I barely can) so the other guy who pays his water bill has been stepping in to talk to her and get her to respond. Today was the first time my daughter has ever talked to her and she called me and work and was like "OMG! You guys weren't kidding when you said she tries to act dumb and like she doesn't know what is going on"

The past few weeks our pressure has been low off and on (indicating a pump issue) and our filters on the house are clogging weekly. DH even put small filters on a couple of our outdoor faucets because trying to water the lawn is clogging the sprinklers up within hours of use. Running a sprinkler for an hour, moving it around the yard, results in the small filter being full of "stuff".  The well owner is at least finally using a real well repair company, rather than the guy who does it as a side job and can only look at it on nights and weekends, and she did finally up the water to $20 a month in January (us and the other neighbor paid her for a full year in advance) but out of 9 on the well, she's still only getting paid by 3 users. So, of course, she still has no money for repairs.

She had the repair company call me last week to ask some questions and they asked for a sample of the stuff that is clogging our filters up so fast. The kids took the stuff down to the well house today while the repair guy was there. They wanted to see it so they could determine if its "well scale" (basically the insides of the well getting old and flaking away) or sediment being pulled into the pump. It's well scale. The well owner was there while the kids were giving the repairman the sample. He said flat out that she has a problem with the well and pump. Then she started in on her "I don't have any money for it, not all the well users pay me, etc. and that she doesn't make any money running the well". The repair guy looked at her in amazement and said you aren't supposed to make money! She actually asked if we would be ok with just having all the sediment in our drinking water, since she doesn't have the money to fix it!

Then she tried to tell him it was only us with the problem so the kids came back and told DH. He went and got a 5 gallon bucket and went over to each of the 3 other neighbors on our row of lots. We are lot#2. Lots 1 and 3 had same crap in the bucket as the sample we gave. Lot 4 (lot farthest from the well) water was DISGUSTING! Green/brown algae type water! DH put each sample in a clean water bottle. I'll probably take them down to the well owner tomorrow to show her, but I think I'll give that helpful guy at the county health department, I talked to last year, a call again.  She has got to do something to properly manage the well so that she has funds in reserve for repairs. Repairs are a fact that must be addressed. $240 a year from 3 users is not going to cover it.

I was reading the few documents I could find online related to running "Class B" water systems and one document goes over very clearly well assets (meaning the pump, well tank, etc) need to be maintained and expected that they will wear out and that enough money needs to be brought in to have a maintenance reserve. I am not paying her extra for this big repair when there are hundreds, actually it's thousands of dollars she has not collected from the other users over the years.

At least the pump hasn't died completely and we still have water. I guess they are scheduled to come back on the 16th to complete the repairs, though I'm not sure exactly what is being done. Since the well repair company called me directly to get the sample I will probably give them call, just to find out exactly what they are saying is the problem, so I'm getting the info from them and not the well owner.  Most likely she is just doing the minimal needed. The repair guy told my kids that the well is SO NOT up to code and he can't believe the county is ignoring it. He told them it would probably cost $30,000 to bring that well up to standards! Not that I want that kind of cost and problems brought on the well owner, and I'm not going to tell the county guy that this is what the repairman said, but it really is her own fault for not managing the well properly - ever - and we have lived here 23 years.

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