Pro's and Con's of a Shared Water Well
Canadian history and frontier life is not so far in our distant past. Water is a resource that is required for life and development. Having a safe and reliable water is the difference of prosperity and health or desperation and despair.
We are long past the days of lawless feuds and thankfully moved into the territory of responsible water usage with the legal means to gain access to reliable water sources. Yet today, and on occasion, we still have clients ask about the viability of shared wells as some sub-divisions rely on a single source of water for all the home owners.
The short answer is - we advise caution in the situation of shared wells. It often begins well with everyone on the same page so to reduce upfront costs, but overtime the lines of the initial agreement tends to change with one property using more water than another in times of draught or dry season. There is there is the required maintenance and upgrades over time. At times of such change, clients become more vulnerable to cost increases and having to deal with individuals who were possibly not initially in the original agreement. Shared wells also have an expectation of access to water
Things can get complicated.
In some cases, the access to water is literally along the driveway and is 10 feet wide along the entire edge of the property. While 10 feet doesn’t sound like too much at first, but when ones considers that the property is only 50 feet wide all of a sudden the dynamics may change. The property owner paid good money for the entire 50ft x 70ft lot and may not be all that keen on ripping up the property to gain access for the entire sub-division.
There are also times where the neighbors may have moved the location pins to meet their own water needs of an existing well and ultimately interferes with the development/build on the neighboring property.
We have also come across a situation where one owner is a permanent resident and the other is a temporary resident who is only around for a couple weeks each year. Consider what the pump costs would be to replace a pump and installation among the two parties only to argue that the costs should be determined by usage not a 50/50 split like one might expect.
Another concern to consider with shared wells is the required power supply. Often the power running the pump is set to one location. In one case we have encountered, the client repeatedly stopped paying the power bill and the neighbor would have to pay Sask. Power to have the power turned back on. The neighbour ultimately had to absorb the cost of the re-connect the power despite the fact the bill was not entirely theirs, even though they had already paid the owner for the power usage. Clients in desperate situations will often absorb additional costs just so they could have water. In this case it happened multiple times and was clearly developing into a pattern. Answer: the client drilled their own well on their own property and disconnected from the ﬁrst source.
If you’re in a current situation of a shared well, make sure to get details of water usage and allowances on legal binding contract between all parties.
Wolverine Drilling Inc. is an experienced full service water well drilling company dedicated to working with you for any of your water well requirements.
We conduct business with a high level of transparency and look forward to hearing from you.