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In retirement, we have decided to sell and relocate our primary residence. We have the option to build or buy existing. However, to buy a lot and build will require installing a well and septic system, as there are no lots available in our price range with city sewer/water. The option is to buy an existing residence within the boundaries of the city water/sanitation system. Lots are inexpensive, but in this area, to install well/septic adds $30-35K to build price. So.....Buy existing with city water/sanitation or lot with well/septic? Total cost at the end of the day is similar.
 

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I lived on a well and septic system for 11 years in Florida. It was not a big deal really. But there are pros and cons. The main pros are no water bill, no risk of contamination by others and softer water. The main cons are maintenance to pumps, maintenance on holding tank and softener system(need to maintain salt levels, etc) and you have to be aware of what you flush or put down the drains.

I currently am on a septic with city water but having to use a well with septic would not deter me from the right property.

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I also live in florida and bought a house built in 1990 with whole house r/o system and until i learned how to fix/ maintain it myself was very expensive and t ime consuming to keep running with no alternative to hook up to city water. Was given name of person that fixed it for previous owner and he turned out to be a real dumb-a s and cost me dearly. Five years ago moved to downtown area with city water/sewer and am paying 70 per month but worth the expense. Also value of property with city water sewer is a lot greater at resale time. Wes
 

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I have a well and septic tank. In 32 years I have replaced the submersible pump once. The first one quit on a Sunday so no well service company was available. I discovered that I could "pull" the pump with the help of my wife and sons. It was 80' deep with 4 sections of 1-1/4" PVC pipe glued together. As I pulled the PVC and pump up and out of the hole the PVC bent over in a large loop and my wife and sons carefully "walked" it out to the side to prevent it from breaking. Went to Home Depot, got another pump and dropped it all back down the hole.
I don't remember how much we paid the well company to drill the well initially.

Around here in the Texas Hill Country (rocks) I see signs advertising septic systems starting at about $6K. We rented a backhoe and my B-I-L operated it so we did the complete installation ourselves.
 

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Ditto the above. Kind of depends on where you are relocating to, but I specifically bought my house with private well and septic, and purposefully bought outside the city limits for lower taxes, and to avoid having to be forced on city water and sewer.

It's just the two of us, so I'll probably never have to worry about getting the tank pumped (as long as the wife stops dumping coffee down the sink.....). The water tastes great straight from the tap, I just have a small sediment filter under the house I replace every six months, and well pumps generally last 10+ years or more, or in the case of awhtx, 32+ years. Only been in this house for a little over 2 and a half years, and that's already over $1500 back into my pocket, not including avoiding city taxes.
 

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I don't care about septic tanks but I swore of wells years ago. Having to drill one deeper, twice, during drought tends to sour one on them a bit. I can get by for a while when the power, phones, heat, etc go out, but not water. Having to haul water for your kids to flush toilets,bathe, brush their teeth and such feels very third world. I understand some people have pretty decent luck with well water but never again for me. City water all the way if I am able to choose.
 

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I'm on City water with a septic system. As noted above, especially in SC, I'm glad to have city water, as I can see a well being a problem here (we can go months without rain in the summer). We also have clay soils which slow infiltration (recharge) rates. Don't know where you live, but drought, water quality, and soil all factor into having a good well or not.

The city of greer asked if our neighborhood wanted to get on the city sewer system years ago, which would annex us into the city of Greer and more than double our monthly water bill (only 15-20/mo for us) (and I believe also raise my property tax rate) and almost everyone voted no. My septic system is 20 years old this year, it hasn't shown any signs of deterioration. With just my wife and I, it's only been pumped once since we bought the house 10 years ago. I've been planning to dig up the cover this year and see where the poo level is at. Considering I go at work 90% of the time, and women never poop, it should be almost empty still :LOL:

It also depends on what you want. Do you want an existing home in a suburb, or a little more "out there" with privacy? I was able to find an "older" subdivision with no HOA where everyone has a 0.75-1.5 acre lot. There's no way I would buy in the one's they're building around here now... 0.2-0.25 acres, huge house, no front yard with a small scrap of a backyard.
 

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Im with 65 pony here. I also live in sc. I grew up on a well but adter i got married and bought my first house i had city water for 11 years and never had an issue other than the chlorine smell sometimes. I now am on well water and not as happy with it. The pressure sucks and its not actually free between maintenance and the power for the pump it does cost. I would rather pay my $35 month water bill. Septic is ok just use ridx
 

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We have county water and septic. This saves $$ on the water bill. But it is a short term savings. After 35 years we need a new drain field for the septic. If our tank every goes bad we'll need to get one of the new fancy tanks ($$$) as we're within the critical area for the Chesapeake Bay.
I'm also always concerned about wells for the reason stated by GypsyR. A friend spent over $20k for a new well when her well went dry and she had to drill down hundreds of feet for water. Plus, do you know the quality of the well water in your area? The cost of conditioning the water can really add up.
In the long run, pluses and minuses to both. My next house will have county water and sewer. You know what you've got.
If it was an easy answer, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
 

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I would do some research on the water quality of the wells in the area. When were were preparing to build in our rural area, everyone was on well water and water was easy to hit. In fact, there was one old hand dug well on the property, probably 200 years old, that was less than 10 feet deep. The problem was that most people were reporting that the water was pretty hard and had micro grit in it. Washing machines didn't last long. And a couple folks had to switch to cisterns because wells were showing pollution from runoff coming from dairy (manure) and farming (fertilizer). We delayed building until we could get county water and my wife got up a petition and went door to door to all the houses and farms and got signatures. We had to get so many signatures and pre-paid checks for a minimum number of taps before the county would extend service but we got it. We do have septic though and I expect it might take decades before we ever see sewer service, but no problem there.
 

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I'm on city water, still on septic. Considering the expense to tie into the city sewer system because with all the rain we've had, the ground gets saturated and my field lines to drain the water from septic will stop working and I have to tell everyone in the house (a bunch of flushers) to lay off the flushing unless absolutely necessary. Very annoying. We do plan to buy a lot and build, and I'm fine with septic there because I WON'T build in a low lying area like I'm in now and I'll be sure to have plenty of drainage.
 

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In 32 years of well/septic service I've replaced the pump once as previously stated and that pump was a used pump when it was installed. Nothing done to the septic system. We went through a severe drought from about 2008-2011 and the well never went dry.
We built our house and I ran a drain line from the washing machine to the yard. If I did it over I'd run a separate drain from the kitchen sink and the bathtubs to the outside for "gray water" also. Nothing but the toilets into the septic. I have read that a washing machine will overload a septic system, especially with a bunch of kids.
 

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I've had a well/septic all my life. I haven't found it that expensive to maintain, even with the required water softener for Iron. My system does have the inconvenience of adding salt regularly, I don't know if all require that ? Always a good idea to have gray water go to a separate drain field. I would choose based on the location you like, not so much city or well water.To get around the power outage problem, have at least a small generator wired in for your well pump, and a few other select circuits.
 

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We also have 30 gallons of stored, fresh, filtered water in our water heater if we ever need water when the power goes out. :). Or, can bust out the ol’ hand pump and attach it to the inlet hose. I don’t worry about power outages, we have no HOA, older neighborhood with 1+ acre lots, no city tax or water bill. Not sure how much electricity it takes to run the pump, but it’s most definitely insignificant. Being on electric heat, 75% of the power bill goes to heating alone, and it’s very low.
 

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I've lived on well and septic for the last 35 years. I had to replace the pump once due to a power surge from ComEd while the pump was running. I've never had a problem with the septic. My neighbor had to drill his well deeper a few years ago. I've got a huge iron filter and softener to treat the water. The one thing I hate is the showers and toilets turning red from the iron. Strainers in the faucets plug from the minerals. I'll have to replace the showers before I can sell the place because the stains are so bad. I also buy drinking water so that's an added expense. I would much rather have city water.
 

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Grew up on city water with a septic, our summer cottage was the same but with a private water company. Don't miss the chlorine taste or smells.

In my town, everyone is well water and septic, there is no alternative. The well was tested when we bought the house and the inspector said "you basically have Poland Spring on tap". I've run it dry one time in fifteen years, when I accidentally left the sprinkler on all day while at work and it recovered in a couple hours. The septic is pumped once every four years, per town ordnance. System was installed in 1970 and it's inspected when it's pumped. I have a cracked baffle, but it functions as it should. I replaced my well pump about ten years ago, as the one in the house failed at 25 years old. Much

As others have posted, choose where you live based upon where you want to live, not on well/septic vs city water/sewer issues. Personally, you couldn't pay me to live in an HOA where people freak out about which direction you park your car or the type of vehicle you drive.
 

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Judging by all these different experiences you might want to clue us in as to where you plan to settle, next door or across the country. You didn't mention. In some parts of our country the aquifiers are receding pretty badly. Most people are blissfully unaware of it though.
 

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Judging by all these different experiences you might want to clue us in as to where you plan to settle, next door or across the country. You didn't mention. In some parts of our country the aquifiers are receding pretty badly. Most people are blissfully unaware of it though.
You're not joking about the aquifers. We're on well/septic, and I'm a bit concerned. It seems the big agricultural companies have bought a bunch of farms upstream from us and have unregulated water flows to irrigate their fields. Us minions downstream are getting no help from the county supervisors as they won't do anything about it. I know one family that ended up moving because their well ran dry. It's become a major problem here in Arizona. I was told that our well hit water at 80 feet, but it was drilled down to 250 feet.
 

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I may or may not have set up the drain from the washer, the kitchen and bath sinks, tub and shower to drain with the water from the gutters on the rear of the house...
 
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