Well pump and generator


#1

Hi guys, I’m looking at a park that has 4 wells that service the park, however I was told none of these wells have secondary pumps, a backup generator or an alert systems to let you know when it goes down.

Should I expect to install these post closing and does anyone have a ballpark estimate for what that might cost?

Also, the owner told me they don’t treat the well water, is that common? Sewer is city, park is in Wisconsin.

Thanks!


#2

Wells usually have just one pump per well. Does the park need all 4 pumps to provide an adequate supply of water to the park or are some redundant? Back up generator with autotransfer switch 8 to 12k per well. You might be able run multiple wells from one generator if they share the same electric meter.

Feel free to reach out if you need more assistance.

Phillip Merrill
503.734.7400


#3

Great point on the redundancy, I’m not sure but will follow up.

What’s your take on needing a backup generator? Is it a “nice to have” or more or less a requirement?

I might have been getting this confused with backup pumps for a lift station or sewer systems. I guess the worst thing that happens if your pump fails is he tenant doesn’t have water, though that’s a problem in its own right.


#4

If the system loses water pressure you will have to issue a boil water notice, collect bacteria samples, and chlorinate the pipes. You will have a lot of upset people. All drinking water systems should have a generator but not all states require it.


#5

That’s really helpful, thanks Phillip!

One last thing, have you heard of well water not being treated? I was told they don’t treat the water because it’s good enough right out of the ground. They test once per year.


#6

Usually monthly testing if more than 14 homes. If they say they are only testing once a year something is fishy.

See link below for Wisconsin public drinking water look up.

https://prodoasext.dnr.wi.gov/inter1/pws2$.startup

Many systems dont chlorinate. Some states require all public water systems to chlorinate i.e. Texas, Pennsylvania to name a few.


#7

Wow that’s really helpful, I didn’t know that existed, thanks!

LOoks like the wells are classified as “Transient, Non-Community” where it looks like it should be classified as “Other than Municipal, COmmunity”. Transient looks like it doesn’t require a Certified Operator, and I doubt this community has one…

Cause for concern?


#8

Transient non community is not the right classification for a mobile home park. An Rv would or restaurant would be transient non community. P&l for lab and operator will very low versus community system. Occasionally parks split the system into multiple "mini systems " to stay below 15 homes per system. Lab is once a year, no operator is required.


#9

That’s great, thanks! I’ll reach out to the DNR to see about next steps.


#10

First off, I have to say you’re an incredible resource to this forum Phillip. I’m extremely grateful for your insight.

So I found this on the DNR’s website…several of the wells appear to be rather old. Is that of concern? The current owner told me the only thing they’ve had to do to the wells over the last several years is replace a holding tank on #2. Sounds like there is some CapEx waiting to happen on these…

What do you think?

image


#11

Well pumps last 8 to 12 years on average. Replacement cost $3 to 5k.
Well life span is really dependent on water chemistry, soil type, formation that is producing the water main issues are casing failure due to rusting or corroding or aquifer simply plugging off or fouling. First indicator you may have failing well casing is increase in nitrate levels, positive coliform bacteria, or e-coli in the well samples. First indication of aquifer plugging is reduced pumping capacity, or reduction is specific capacity (gallons per minute/foot of water level draw down). Wisconsin is very varied geology across the state so I would expect life of wells to vary with location of wells and quality of water.

The other issue is wells constructed in the 1970’s and earlier had very minimal surface seals which make the wells more susceptible to contamination.

Replacement well locations can be tricky if you dont have the space in the park. This is always my number 1 concern where can you put a new well if needed. Do you have the proper setbacks from septic systems, tanks, drainfields etc.


#12

Ok interesting. I guess next step is to actually inspect the well.

I have a voicemail into a regulator at the DNR to ask about the implications of the Transient classification. Thanks again Phillip!

The park is pretty tight, but at least it’s on city sewer so there aren’t drain fields or septic tanks to contend with.