The following is an outline given in response to question about the acceptable amount of well water production. There is no single, clear response because there are many variables that must be considered. Notice the basic breakdown below.
I Location A. Plains 1. Horse acreage 15 GPM
2. Small Farm 15 GPM
a. Raising Animals 15 GPM
b. Raising Crops 15 GPM
3. Large Farm 15 - 100 GPM
a. Dry Land 15 GPM
b. Irrigated 100 GPM
4. House and Lot 10 GPM
B. Mountain 1/2 - 15 GPM
1. Ranch 5 + GPM
2. Horse Acreage 3 - 10 GPM
3. House and Lot 1/2 - 1 GPM
II Lifestyle A. Executive/House Guest and Parties 15 GPM
B. Family 1 - 5 GPM
1. 1 - 5 Members 1 GPM
2. 6 - 12 Members 3 GPM
C. Rental 2 - 5 GPM
1. Family 1 - 5 GPM
2. Student 2 - 5 GPM
D. Cabin - Vacations 1 - 3 GPM
Variations in gallons per minute to satisfy peak demand = Storage + Minimum GPM Daily Replacement
Example 1: 1440 minutes = 1 Day 1440 gallons = 1 GPM
Well depth of 300 feet with 200 feet of water = 300 gallons storage
Under normal circumstances, a house of 6 people would use a maximum of 300 gallons in the a.m. hours and 300 gallons in the p.m. hours. Between 10 a.m. and 3 a.m. (5 hours), the well would produce 300 gallons, giving adequate water for a three bedroom house. The regeneration rate is 1 GPM.
Example 2: Same well depth (300 feet), storage (300 gallons) and number of people (6). The only change is a regeneration rate of 1/2 GPM
Obviously in the first example, the amount of water available was precisely enough to satisfy the daily needs of the household. In the second example, however, the amount of water available is less then required
You might say this is an inadequate water well situation. However, it is not. If you provide additional storage in a cistern or storage tank, the problem is solved with adequate water available daily. (1/2 GPM X 1440 minutes = 720 gallons per day). 720 gallons regeneration, placed in an 1800 gallon cistern or tank will provide an even better situation than the higher producing well in the first example. Peak demands like parties and house guests would be satisfied. This also supplies the additional benefit of having water available for the rural fire department so they can draw 100 GPM from the cistern to douse a house fire.
Needless to say, our opinion is not alone on this matter; the VA Appraisers and FHA have been in agreement with these statistics. Other authorities have also contributed to our resource material. Fairbanks Morse Water Systems Division of Colt Industries states that an average of 50 gallons per day, per person, is needed. We feel this is conservative, and that 100 gallons per day in normal usage. Other mortgage lenders advised that proper computation of 2 persons per bedroom should be considered when the house is sold or listed to evaluate the quantity of water needed.
Now that the quantity of water is understood, we must not forget the quality of water. Each county has in its health department a water quality section. Here, the water sample collected at the home where the well test is performed is brought into the laboratory for a bacteriological evaluation. This report, coupled with the well test, gives sufficient data to consider property as viable.
There is only one other procedure which the most discriminating buyer might consider - the testing of the amount and types of minerals dissolved in the water. These minerals are usually removable by filtration or softening. Rarely does this become a significant problem, but if the taste and odor evaluation during the well test is unsatisfactory, a sample should be taken to an independent laboratory for a mineral content analysis of the water.
In conclusion, well testing should be perfumed by persons who are licensed by the State of Colorado as either Water Well Drillers or Pump Installation Contractors. Persons with these licenses are able to collect samples for the County Health Department and understand their responsibility to "protect the public health and enable Colorado to retain primacy for the drinking water program." Colorado Drinking Water Regulations 10-30-81
A water well is a tremendous asset to a property, even a low producing one, because they require a one time charge and relatively low maintenance costs, as compared to the monthly bill from the water department. Generally, the water is good tasting and pure. Rural property in Colorado has plenty of healthy water. Out goal is to keep it that way.
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