Domestic Well Testing for Real Estate Transactions
New Requirements for Oregon when selling a home with a well
(Starting January 1st, 2010):
According to amendments to the Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 448.271(1), when selling real estate that includes a domestic well, property owners are required to test the water for arsenic, nitrate and total coliform bacteria. Domestic wells are those used for drinking and other household purposes. Test results must be reported within 90 days to the real estate buyer and DHS-Drinking Water Program after the seller receives the test results.
Why was Arsenic Added?: Arsenic was added to required tests because it is a common contaminant found throughout Oregon. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established limits on the amount of arsenic in water that can be safely consumed with no harm to a person’s health. This regulation is an important step in protecting public health.
Merrill Drilling Testing – Individual Tests
Well Water Four Hour Flow Test
- Why test?
Water is something that we take for granted especially here in Oregon. Only when we don’t have it due we realize its true value. Every residence or farm depends on their water well to provide a steady, clean and safe supply of water to meet their daily needs. When buying a house you should have confidence in your existing well and water system.
New wells are expensive; replacement costs for a well can range from $ 3000.00 to $15000.00 for a domestic well.
Most lending institutions require a four-hour flow test. The standard gallons per minute required for the duration of the four hour period is 5 gallon per minute.
Well Water Coliform Bacteria and Nitrate Testing
- Why test?
Health risk: Coliform bacteria is tested for in two ways total coliform and fecal coliform (E.coli).
Total coliform bacteria is an indicator that the ground water is contaminated and has connections to the ground surface. While fecal coliform (E.coli) “may indicate that the water has been contaminated with the fecal material of man or other animals”. “Some waterborne pathogenic diseases that may coincide with fecal coliform contamination include ear infections, dysentery, typhoid fever, viral and bacterial gastroenteritis, and hepatitis A.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fecal_coliforms
Well Water Arsenic Testing:
- Why test?
Health risk: Arsenic is a cumulative toxin that builds up in your body. The USEPA considers arsenic to be a human carcinogen. Other adverse health affects associated with chronic arsenic exposure are weakness, abdominal pain to neurological diabetes, depression, obesity and cardiovascular problems
Current Requirements (Starting January 1st, 2010): According to amendments to the Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 448.271(1) when selling real estate that includes a domestic well, property owners are required to test the water for arsenic, nitrate, and total coliform bacteria. Domestic wells are those used for drinking and other household purposes. Test results must be reported within 90 days to the real estate buyer and DHS-Drinking Water Program after the seller receives the test results.
Well Water Advanced Water Testing:
- Why Test?
In the advanced water lab work we test for: ph, coliform bacteria, nitrates, hardness, iron, manganese, total dissolved solids, arsenic, lead, sodium. This lab work gives you a good indication of the water quality and if any contamination exists. Hardness, iron, and manganese the mineral that is usually noticed as staining on household fixtures. Arsenic and lead are both toxic to humans and livestock.
Well Inspection and Report:
Well head, pump, control box, pressure switch, filters and all other components of the water system that are above ground will be inspected and to determine what condition they are in, if they are up to current state standards and codes, and if any maintenance is needed. A report summarizing all items inspected will be provided with suggestions and prices should any maintenance or work to bring the well up to state standards.
Well Log Search and Analysis:
A water well log is basically a written blueprint of how your well was constructed.
Some of the information it contains is: what formations drilled through, what size the borehole is, materials used, date well construction commenced, when well was completed, where water was found, how much water was found, drillers name, how the sanitary surface seal was constructed. It is invaluable for future maintenance and every owner should make every effort to have the water well log.
Pollution Potential Analysis:
Examination of well head and surrounding areas to gage the possibility of surface and industrial contamination, ground water flow gradients analysis to determine potential sources of up gradient sources of contamination. Distances to any know sources of contaminants will be measured.
Merrill Water Testing Rates – Packages
Home Buyer’s / Seller’s Basic Package
Home Buyer’s Well Flow Test – $400.00
The Buyer pays $400.00 for the Flow Test and Well Inspection Report.
- Four Hour Flow Test – Most lending institutions require a four hour flow test.
- Well Inspection Report
Inspection of the wellhead, pump, control box, pressure switch, filters and all other components of the water system to determine their condition and if they are up to current state standards and codes.
Home Seller’s Well Water Quality Test – $250.00
The Seller pays $250.00 for the Coliform Bacteria, Nitrates & Arsenic Testing
- Well Water Quality Testing – Standard Lab Work: Coliform Bacteria, Nitrates, & Arsenic (Required by the State of Oregon*).
- In Addition we include tests for ph, hardness, iron, manganese & total dissolved solids.
We can also provide these services if needed:
- Well Log Search and Analysis Report – It is invaluable for future maintenance, and every owner should make every effort to have a copy of the water well log.
- Cross Connection & Pollution Potential Analysis Report – Analysis of surface and industrial contamination and ground water flow gradients to determine potential sources of contamination.
- Well Drilling & Deepening – Well Pump Service & Repair