Private Waste water and Drinking water Due diligence

For those of you interested in purchasing parks with private utilities what is your due diligence process? The reason I ask is that I have become a participant on the forum to learn about owning and operating mobile home park. My primary business is operation and management of drinking water and waste water systems. My goal is to buy multiple parks but I presently don’t own any. I tend to chim in when questions come up to give back to the forum. Here is the real question do those who want to buy parks on private utilities do you hire one company to do the due diligence (similarly to a phase 1 inspection) and write a global report and the condition of both drinking water and sewer systems or do it piece meal? In my mind it would be worth it to have one company give you a comprehensive report. I have not seen anyone offering that service. I hear people say get the sewer lines camera, call local regulators,… Why not have an expert oversea all due diligence and talk to government, write a report, reviewing operating costs, outlining potential and future cap ex cost and current deficiencies (regulatory or other wise). I see lots of questions asked that indicate that not even the right questions are being asked. Do don’t know what you don’t know sort of deal.

This company would need to have experience in drinking water, and waste water operations and understand the business side of their operations potential candidates would be engineering firm, or company similar to mine that operates multiple drinking water and waste water systems.

Im not trying to pitch a service I just see a need that no seems to be filling.

Phillip Merrill

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How much would such a report run, do you think? I’d probably sleep better at night if I had such a report (if I owned a park with a well or any kind of non-public sewer). I would definitely look for that service during DD for a park I was serious about.



I think it sounds like a great opportunity for people buying parks and even for a business to offer something like this.

For reference, where are you located out of?

Im in Oregon but the nice thing in this industry is that generally speaking the rules governing drinking water and waste water were promogated at the federal level. Clean Water Act for waste water and Safe Drinking Water Act for drinking water. States are usually given the responsibility to enforce the fed rules. Licensing is even generally transferable nation wide as well.


I could see at least three levels of service:

  1. Buyer does all diligence just want a second set of eyes. Could be by hour or flat rate for up to so many hours of offsite review. $500 to $3000
  2. Third party would oversee all diligence for water and sewer and put together global report but would not due onsite work. $4000 to $7000
  3. Third party would due everything in level 2 and probably have 1 to 3 days of onsite diligence as well. $8000 to $15000. Buyer would cover travel expenses and per diem of $1200 for onsite and $500 for travel days. I think the $15k would cover everything except travel expenses on a three day onsite deal including per diem.

Buyer would still be responsible to pay for third party inspectors such as video, sewer tank pumpers, plumbers, well or pump guys… you get the idea.

I think the above prices are in the right neighborhood.

These sorts of things tend to be huge time blackholes so a cost not to exceed would be the way to go for the buyer but not so good for guy doing it :wink:

To do a system with a lagoon the lagoon should really be cored to see depth of biosolids (tons to dispose of) and collect bulk samples to test for heavy metals. If your over the limit you have no way to dispose of the biosolids. Think supper fund site. This would eat a whole day.

Just thinking out loud here.

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I could see the value in that for the right park if everything else is awesome and you need a better understanding of the mechanics. I would def do a quick consult fee as well if you cross a deal that needs in depth understanding of what you have on your hands. Not sure how large a market there is to capture, but seems like a valuable service for the right deals/right situations .