Parks on well water

I’ve seen a lot of posts about this topic, but nothing in recent years. Want to get some current feedback.

I’ve found a lot of good deals on parks (from a numbers sense) but most of them are on well water (which is why I think they’re such good deals, they are less desirable). I know @frankrolfe isn’t a fan of well water and it seems to stem from a liability standpoint. If the chlorinator breaks you’re in for a headache because the tenants could be getting poisoned by too much chlorine or too much bad stuff and not enough chlorine to kill it.

My experience with wells has always been with friends that lived in the country and lived off a well. I never actually heard of chlorinating a well until the Bootcamp, as most people prefer well water for its taste/purity compared to city water quality from degrading infrastructure. The only downside I’ve ever experienced with a well is that it could someday run dry.

However, I’m curious to hear from park owners that have parks on wells. Is it something that’s always in the back of your mind? Do you treat the well? Do you get it tested? If so, how often? Do you carry extra insurance? Do you plan to switch?

There’s also the complexity of having well water and septic as the septic does leech into the ground that the well is technically a part of. Wondering if the well is set back far enough/deep enough from the leech field that it isn’t an issue?

Or do I have a huge blind spot when it comes to regulation? Again, my experience is private wells for one or two homes, not a park/neighborhood where the government may have a prying eye.

I don’t have any on wells, but my partner does and has no qualms with owning parks set up that way or buying more set up that way. Municipal water isn’t an option for most of his on private water. It’s also very geography specific – private water is standard is some markets, so regulation in those areas may be more understanding to the park owner supplying his/her residents with well water.

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yes, good point. glad to know.

I have a small (16 unit) park just north of Tampa, FL. When it was first purchased it only had 9 used lots, which meant it fell below the threshold for inspection other than a quarterly test. The water was safe but had a ton of iron in it and we ended up with about $5000 in filtration to get the water to my satisfaction. Once it hit 16 units/over 25 people then the County required a certified operator, extensive testing for the first year moving the expense side to ~225 per month for the operator and 3 or 4 thousand in testing over the year. After the first year it should be around 300 per month for the operator and testing. That isn’t to bad in a place where lot rents are 400+ per month. It is nice to have the operator maintain the chlorination and filtration system - a lot more peace of mind than someone guessing.


Two of our parks, 54 lots and 94 lots, both had well water when we purchased them. One of the communities we have since connected to city water while the other is still connected to well water.

This is a pretty big topic, but I will say that wells should not immediately drive you away from purchasing a community. Here are a few thoughts.

  1. Many of your questions and concerns will probably be state-specific. I am in PA, so I can only speak to PA.
  2. If a community is large enough, you will need to have at least two wells, which will alternate being used throughout the day. If you community does not, the state may require you to add one.
  3. I am also required to have a backup generator on sight, which should prevent any stoppage of water and wastewater access.
  4. The cost of running each of my systems is about $25,000/year. Due to the need for daily checks, both of the communities on wells cost the same even though one was half the size.
  5. Be sure you are very aware of the water and sewer lines in your community before you buy it. This could end up being a deal killer. Running all new lines could run you over 100k+.
  6. There will always be extra expenses due to pumps, lines, chemicals, blowers, lift stations, etc. This is why most people avoid private systems, but if you plan accordingly, it is no big deal. However, you need to be aware that you will be receiving more calls throughout the year due to your ownership of the systems.
  7. You will need to make sure no tenants park on the grass, due to damage to the lines.

Honestly, it all comes down to investigating the systems ahead of time and being aware that private systems will take a little more work. Do not let private systems scare you off. Good wells and wastewater plants can last up to 100 years! Just do your due diligence. Get a plumber to come in to check out the systems and give you their thoughts on the current state of the system and where he thinks you will need to spend some money in the short and long term.

I hope this helps! Good luck!


Very helpful! This is a very small park so hopefully my research will show expenses to be slightly less than what you’re working with. Very good insight, thank you for the info.

Hello Hannah

We have all 3 parks on well water. There are pros and cons. Its all about the maintenance and keeping up with necessary requirements.

One of our parks we pay extra to have someone licensed to do daily testing, and all the necessary requirements. It’s definitely worth it as it saves you the headache and money. You definitely have to find someone trustworthy. The headache we just experienced is our manager of 17+yrs did not do the necessary requirements and they almost made us go to city water and just the transition would have cost thousands plus the monthly charge would quadruple. Luckily we found a licensed operator who has been a lifesaver.

If anything we prefer parks on well for alot of reasons

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We have a park on well water and have owned it for 18 months. So far, there have not been any problems. We have 2 wells on site in 2 well houses. There are no chlorinators, backup generators, or other specialty equipment other than the pumps and the heaters.

Operational cost is about $400 per month to pay a licensed well operator (required by state law), $70 in lab fees, and $200 to $300 for electricity. Repairs are extra.

Law requires monthly, annual, and every 3 year testing depending on the item being tested for.

The well operator takes all water samples, sends to lab, and manages the tests. He also files all compliance reports with the state. Any park operator could learn this, but there is technical knowledge needed, and it is nice to have an expert in case a serious condition arises.


I have walked away from MHP deals due to well water and lagoons. Avoid. Legal liability is immense. Remember Flint, Michigan? My sense of it is you are buying into a lot of administrative and maintenance overhead. Neither wells nor lagoons are easy solutions, and they require constant maintenance and monitoring.

Flint, Mi was NOT on wells–it was from the Flint River and before from Detroit. 75% of our parks are on wells with NO problems–lagoons and sewage plants will not even bother to look!!

That is correct, however, what did happen was a water quality issue. I mention that only as a reminder that water issues can be devastating. The fact that you have no problems is wonderful, and a testament to your good management and good luck. Having had wells, and dealt with the myriad of problems that can occur with them, I demur. Secondly, with respect to lagoons, there are two kinds: those that drain and those that don’t. The static lagoon is much easier to deal with from a regulatory standpoint, but both require attention and management.

All good feedback. I was able to speak with the county health department and they do not license privates wells, meaning there is no regulation or testing requirement for them. (rural southern states for the win!) Which essentially means I can choose the most cost effective strategy for safe water for the residents.

With that being said, I plan to follow the state recommended testing schedule of quarterly water sampling and annual full panel bacterial testing. As well as carry extra and specific liability coverage around the well.

My exit plan/worst case scenario would be if the well does go bad and I end up having to test/treat and it becomes too expensive I can close the park. The purchase price is so low that I will get my money back in a year and any year after that is extra income.

I have 2 parks on well 95 space and 99 spaces. I also have 3 parks on city water.
City water is much easier to deal with.

In my experience Well Water is cheaper until it’s not cheaper. In the past 2 years I have had to install 2 new wells. Commercial Wells are not cheap. +$50K each. On the other hand ify

I do not know the size of your system or how it’s classified, but I highly doubt there is “No Regulation”. You are either a transient or non-transient small community water system. Since you are serving the public you will be required to do some sore or scheduled testing for Coliform and E.Coli.

If you are not required to do so by your Local Enforcement Agency then I suggest you do it at least quarterly for your own knowledge.

I also suggest that any treatment system you install meets or exceeds the SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT requirements.


You are right in being skeptical in “no regulation,” I still am. However I’ve spoken with the county health department environmentalist rep (who is the person responsible for this subject matter) and he stated since the park is under 15 lots that they do not license and therefore there is no requirement or regulation he must approve/check. He did say to follow the states recommended guidelines and that the health department provides testing as a service. I’ve also researched my states recommendations for private systems and they align with what he is stating.

Thank you for the link, it also is showing the same 15 connection minimum that I’ve heard/read about in my research. I plan to double check all this with my attorney and have a thorough environmental study and inspection of the system.

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Have you considered charging residents for water , or maybe a portion of the cost escalations ?

@DanHelton that is my next step. figuring out the cost of what it would be to test/treat if it did go over as that would be a path to more rental income.

@SDGuy Wondering if you or anyone else on here have ever considered donating these wells to private utility companies?

from what I have heard there are large national and regional private companies that will take over the responsibility of managing and maintaining these systems and will handle the direct billing altogether. Essentially it becomes just like municipal water but instead of the city it’s a private company assuming responsibility of testing and maintaining.

I have heard you can do the same with your private WWTP/Packaging plant…

Would love to hear if this is feasible

@JL very intriguing, that would solve all the headaches I have around these type of deals. Where have you heard about this?

That’s a great idea.
I am in the early stages of doing a consolidation with the other park in my town and the town’s water system.

My park has the best water and the most users. So actually, I will be helping out the town and its residents more than they will be helping me. I charge about $45.00 per space for usage. The town is charging over $100/user plus usage.

From the initial meetings, they want me to Donate my system to the cause and then get billed for my usage. It’s a hard pill to swallow. I just spent about $100k installing a new well. I also have a steel bolted AWWA certified 140,000-gallon water tank. I would be donating about $500K towards the project.

This doesn’t sound very attractive. I want to do a master lease on my infrastructure instead. If I can do a 99-year lease on my wells plus usage then I would be willing to lease my tank for $1.00/year.

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