I remember the stress and anxiety we felt when we were looking for a new home nearly fifteen years ago. Imagine the days when we used dial-up internet. First, we would try to get logged on. If we were successful, we would begin the slow and tedious search for homes praying we would not get kicked off and have to start over. We would then print off our directions and do a drive-by. If the house passed our curb appeal test, we would schedule a showing with our realtor. Eventually we found a home, made an offer and made the move to enjoy country living.
In 2022, accessing the internet is much quicker and easier than the days of dial up internet and in many ways, so is the process of buying a home. We can virtually walk-through potential homes without even physically seeing them. While this affords us an incredible amount of access, ease, and information, it does not always help us to assess the water situation.
Admittedly through the entire process of buying a home, I never wondered where my water would come from. Well depth, the number of gallons it produces, and water quality were not my concern. I simply took it for granted. Lucky for me, my husband happened to be a water treatment specialist. While I was busy thinking how to make this house our home, he had already checked into the water situation for us without me even knowing. Since we have iron in our water and a higher count of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), I would have been in for a rude awakening when finding “rust” stains in our toilets, showers, and clothing and all the cleaning that would have been necessary. I also would have been “less than impressed” with the taste of our water.
We were able to take control of our water quality by installing a water softener and reverse osmosis system. The water softener removes any hardness in our water as well as the iron, and the reverse osmosis helps to improve the taste and quality of our drinking water. Problem solved.
Just because a home has a water quantity or quality issue does not mean it’s a deal breaker. In most instances, water quality issues are easily treatable with the right water treatment equipment.
As mentioned in our previous article about knowing your water when building a home, the same principle applies when you are looking for or have purchased a new home. You need to have a solid water source and you will want to know the water quality and quantity. Knowing the water situation on the front end will help you budget appropriately for water treatment equipment and effectively plan for a smooth transition into your new space– saving you time, money and headaches in the future.
4 Tips, Tricks and Suggestions To Know Your Water When Buying a Home
1. Know the current source of water in the home
The most common water sources used in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan are wells, ponds, and municipal (city) water. Each come with their own benefits and challenges.
In some parts of our service area, water is naturally flowing, and plentiful. In other areas, there is simply no water to be found. The type of water a well produces will determine what type of water treatment is necessary for your home.
Check out common water issues seen throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeastern Michigan What’s in Your Water Blog.
Many homeowners in our area rely on their pond as their primary water source for the house and/or barn. This is a great option for those who have no water on their property or have untreatable or high-maintenance water situations. Pond water treatment systems are a safe and viable solution. These systems must be installed by water treatment professionals that are certified through the Ohio Department of Health.
If the home you are considering purchasing or have purchased has a pond water treatment system consider:
- Is the system working?
- When is the last time it was serviced, and by who?
- Understand maintenance required on the system?
Learn more here “What You Need to Know About Pond Water Treatment Systems”
Municipal (City) Water
According to the Water Quality Association, approximately 85% of the U.S. population receives water from community water systems. These systems are required to meet standards set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Ask the neighbors how they treat their water. Many homeowners using city water have water softeners, carbon filters, and reverse osmosis systems installed to improve the quality and/or taste of their water.
2. Ask lots of questions
We recommend asking a lot of questions! Ask your realtor, ask the previous homeowner, ask the neighbors and/or ask your local water treatment dealer.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Is there a current water treatment system in the home?
- What is the issue the system is treating?
- How old is the system?
- Is it working?
- Has it been properly maintained?
- Who installed the system?
- Was it installed from a local Water Treatment Dealer?
- Is it from a box store?
- Is there staining in the sinks or smelly water?
- Does the current homeowner have concerns about the safety of the water?
- If the homeowner drinks the tap water, ask to sample the water. Do you like the taste, and or feel of the water?
- What are the known water issues in this area?
- What are the neighbors using?
- What is the depth of the well? Flow rates?
- Is this a known area where there are low yield wells, no water, or high sulfur content?
- Are you moving from the city to the country?
The answers to these questions will help the home seeker make an educated decision on what the water and water treatment needs will or would be if purchased. Once determined, you will have a better understanding of what type of water treatment equipment might be needed for the home.
3. Budget for water treatment equipment
The cost to treat water will vary based on the water quality as well as the homeowners’ wants and needs. Working with your local water treatment professional and having them involved in the process can help with identifying the approximate cost and maintenance of the equipment. There are instances in which water treatment equipment is required by the Ohio Department of Health including pond water treatment systems and shallow wells. Some homeowners will choose to have water treatment equipment installed for aesthetic reasons such as hard water, odor, staining, and taste.
Whatever the case, knowing what you need, what you want, and how much it costs will be an advantage to you in the process of purchasing your new home.
4. Plan adequate space for water treatment equipment if remodeling
Planning appropriate and adequate space for water treatment equipment is essential. You will want to make sure that there is enough space for the installation, and for the future service and maintenance of the equipment. When enough space is not left, it can be difficult for the water treatment professional to install the equipment and can make it difficult to service in the future. This could potentially cost the homeowner more time and labor.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
There are so many things to consider when purchasing a new home–decisions are coming at you from every angle. Knowing your water and water treatment options from the beginning will eliminate at least one big decision for you. It can be devastating and costly to homeowners when they find out after they move into their new home that they have poor water quality or quantity.
You have probably heard us say this before, and we will say it again—your water is important!
We are passionate about helping our customers take control of their water!