Private Well – Protecting your Purchaser

Posted on: Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Recently I encountered two files in my office where after the closing date the well had gone dry within a month. This caused me to question what more the agents should be doing to protect their purchaser when a property has a private water well. I have determined there are two things that agents could be doing to better protect the purchaser.

What Should Agents Know to Protect the Purchaser?

First, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) can be contacted for well records/data, and second, a ‘flow test’ can be conducted to check for the quantity of water. While conducting a flow test many contractors can also take a sample of the water in order to have the quality of the water tested.

Before a flow test is conducted, it is recommended that you obtain information pertaining to specific wells by checking the MOEs website. If the well has been previously tested a water well record may be available through this website which can be accessed by clicking here.

The well records available on this site provide information relating to construction as well as the quality and quantity of the well’s water supply when it was originally constructed. Water well records must be submitted to the MOE whenever new wells are constructed or when existing wells are altered or abandoned. There are three different forms available on this website depending on which information is required. The three forms are as follows:

  • Form A: Individual Well Records (to obtain a copy of the actual record as submitted by the contractor at the time of construction);
  • Form B: Computer Print-Out (to obtain water well data information, in a printed report, generated from well record submissions); and
  • Form C: Digital Data (to obtain water well data information, in a digital format, generated from well record submissions).

Once a search is completed by the MOE they will provide you with a detailed summary, available records and data information pertaining to the specific information that was submitted on your form. Processing the requests takes approximately 3-5 business days. All of this information and the three forms can be accessed through the website listed above. Further inquiries can also be directed to the Water Well Help Desk at 1-888-396-9355.

The second step available to investigate private wells is to have a qualified well driller perform a flow test. On average, a one hour flow test will cost approximately $200.00 + HST. This test would involve testing how many gallons flow per minute in order to determine whether or not the well has an adequate water supply. After the test is complete, the company will often provide a handwritten report which outlines the details pertaining to gallons per minute, and if there are any recommendations as to next steps (if the well has issues).

Some companies that can be contacted to conduct flow tests within the Barrie area are as follows:

  • Maltby’s Well Drilling – 905-939-7131
  • Wright Alan Water Wells Inc. – 705-835-5646
  • Country Trades Limited – 519-925-8549
  • Drury Well Drilling – 705-721-1053

It is important to understand that there are risks involved with performing this test if the well does have quantity issues. Pumping a drilled well dry can lead to a collapse of the water reservoir that is beneath it which could lead to a potentially costly situation. Therefore, it would be best to require the vendor to perform this test and provide the report.

With a private well it is important to both obtain the records available from the MOE and have a recent flow test performed. If there is a substantial problem with the private well which requires a new well to be installed the cost can range significantly as there are many different factors that can impact the total cost. Overall, by taking these two simple and relatively inexpensive steps you will have competently assisted your purchaser.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. The information does not constitute legal advice and a solicitor and client relationship is not created.

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