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Question: Once I decide to have a well drilled, what is my first step?

Answer: The first step is to contact your County Environmental Health Department and tell them that you are in the need of having a well drilled and that you would like to apply for the proper permit for the construction of your well. At this point, the Health department will advise you of the proper steps that must be taken in order to obtain the required permit. These steps may include a check for the permit, filling out an application, and a site visit from the Health department to determine a possible location of your well site. One thing for you, the customer, to keep in mind is that in most instances, you can have your well located where you choose, as long as you meet your Health Department set backs and requirements from sources of contamination. Don't be afraid to ask questions!


Question: How do I know where the best "spot" is to drill my well?

Answer: There are a number of things to consider when selection a drilling site. First and foremost, the site must be accessible for the drilling equipment to get in and out of the drilling site. The well cannot be located on the side of steep hills due to the dangers of setting the equipment up. Also, trees must be considered in the drill site selection. Remember, a 30' to 40' boom must be raised into the air and if there are trees in the way, it would be impossible to raise the boom without tree work being done. Power lines must also be considered as well as other utilities. Many deaths are caused each year by drillers either raising a derrick into an overhead power line or drilling through an underground power line. Under no circumstances, should any driller drill within 15 feet of an overhead power line. It is always best to have the property marked by "Miss Utility" prior to beginning any excavation on your property. It is also very important that ample space is provided to your drilling contractor for the construction of your well. It is a very dangerous business and the workers need room to construct your well properly.

As far as locating the best "spot" to find water, it becomes a guessing game. Some geologic areas are more conducive to finding water than others. The formation or geology encountered will determine the success of your well in most cases. The Geology in Virginia varies considerably and along with this, so does the amounts of water that may be available. Some formations are more tightly packed than others with very little fracturing within the rock and as a results, very little water will be found. Other areas may produce large sums of water due to extensive fracturing within the formation.

If your well is being drilled in an area that is noted for low yield wells, more time should be put into the selection of your drilling site. While this is no guarantee that success will be obtained, every effort should be made to enhance the possibilities. We approach difficult drilling sites in much the same way that a Hydrogeologists would. It seems that more success has been obtained by drilling near visible faults or fractures then when not. Often times, it is advisable to locate a well off of the top of a hill. While this does not hold true 100% of the time, the percentages seem to be in your favor when this advice is followed.


Question: Once I have obtained my permit, what is the next step?

Answer: The next step would be to hire the services of a Professional Drilling Contractor that is Certified as a "Master Driller" through the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a Class "A" contractor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If your contractor does not meet both of these priorities, do not hire them. 

It is very important to do your homework and become an educated consumer. Learn everything that you can about the company that you are considering for the job. Don't be afraid to ask questions! The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent source for information. Their phone number is 888-648-0030.


Question: What are some of the important things that I should consider in my selection of a drilling contractor?

Answer: Once again, be an educated consumer and ask questions. Always consider prices but never let prices alone determine your choice. More often than not, the cheapest price may not be the cheapest prices or the best price.

Ask yourself, are they a Class "A" contractor and are they certified "Master Driller's" through the Commonwealth of Virginia, (ask for a current copy of their license and certification), Do they have experience in what you are looking for? Look not only at the companies experience but the driller's experience as well. After all, he may be the one that is actually drilling your well. What types of guaranties do they offer? Anybody can offer guaranties but do they actually stand behind them? In most cases, you will be able to narrow your choices considerably from these questions. Once you have put the drilling contractors on a "short list", request a meeting with them to go over any concerns or questions that you may have. You can always tell a lot about someone if you are able to communicate with them face to face. The drilling contractor will have to look at your site to see if there are any problems getting the equipment in and out, so perhaps this would be a great time to meet your potential well drilling contractor. Meeting someone in person will answer a lot of questions for you without even having to ask them. By the end of your meeting more than likely you will have obtained a pretty good idea as to the contractors character, integrity, and honesty and you will find that your selection may have become much easier.

Don't be afraid to discuss financial matters with your drilling contractor. After all, he is in business to make money, you are in the process of spending money, and you want to know that you have made the correct choice in your selection of a drilling contractor.

You may also want to call The State Board of Contractors in Richmond Virginia to verify their license as well as to see if any complaints have been filed against that contractor, what was the nature of the complaint and has the issue been resolved?

You can also request the same information from the County Environmental Health Department.

Once again, the more you know, the better chance you have of making the correct selection.

Question: What services does this contractor offer other than well drilling?

Answer: It is Leazer Brothers opinion that more often than not, you are better off with one contractor that can take care of "ALL" of your water needs, which would include your well drilling, water system installation and repairs, as well as any water filtration and conditioning equipment that you may need. No one knows your water situation better than the company that drilled your well to begin with and with the information that they have obtained, you can rest assured that the water system installation that will be required will be sized properly and will be based upon your families needs and demands that will be placed upon it. There will be no "second" guessing in regards to what should or should not be installed. The same thing goes for any filtration or conditioning that you may or may not need!

One other thing, by having one contractor that can take care of All of your water
needs, you can eliminiate the question as to whom to call when a problem arises.
This will save you money in the long run because that one contractor has all of the information in their files. You will not have to pay a new contractor to come out and do preliminary work and charge you for work that has already been done.


Question: In searching the Yellow pages, how do I know which contractor to call? Does the size of the ad in the Yellow pages make a difference?

Answer: When looking at all of the ads in the Yellow pages, you will come to one conclusion. They all say the same thing. "we do this" or "we do that". At this point, confusion sets in and you are no closer to being able to make your selection than before. How do you know which one to call? At this point you need to look at what sets the contractors apart. What does this contractor offer that the others do not? Could it be the Class "A" license, could it be the experience, or could it be the fact that one particular company seems to stand behind their work better than the others? As an educated consumer, this is where you will be able to separate the various contractors listed.

However, with the rapid growth of the internet in the past few years, the YellowPages no longer are as viable as they once were. Many contractors have gone to the internet as their #1 source for getting information out to their potential customers and in many cases, they have cut way back in the size of their YP ads or have eliminated them entirely.

You will not find your answers in the size of the ad that is written but you will find them in what is being said. Read the ads carefully. In this case, size does not matter!

Question: Is it wise to have my plumber do my water system installation? He tells me that since he is already there doing the in house plumbing, that he can do the water system installation cheaper.

Answer: In most cases, that is about all you would get, a cheaper water system. Not only in the price but in the quality as well. You wouldn't call a well driller to do your in house plumbing so why would you have a plumber do your water system installation? You may have a well that produces more water than you would ever need but if that system is not designed properly, it could lead to insufficient water pressure throughout the house as well as an insufficient water supply.

Nobody knows your well better than the drilling contractor that installed it. They know where the water zones were encountered in the well, they know the amount of water that the well is producing, they know the proper size pump for the installation and they know how to design and install the best water system to meet your needs. They are also educated in the installations of the proper size pressure tanks that will extend the life of your pump if properly installed.

If your drilling contractor is also a water system installer, you can make no better choice for your water system installation. One other thing to consider, if you have one contractor drill your well and another contractor installs your water system, when a problem occurs, which contractor is responsible for the repairs. Is it a well problem or is it a water system problem? With one contractor, you will not have this dilemma.

One final thought, you may have the best well around but if the water system is not designed and installed properly, you will have a life time of problems. Don't take your well and water system lightly. Trust your installation to a professional contractor that is versed in all phases of the well and water system operation.


Question: After calling several contractors, I find that the prices may vary somewhat. Is the cheapest price the best price?

Answer: In most cases, NO! There is a difference in the quality of work being done and this certainly applies to the water system installation as well as the well installation. You may not see it but it is there. In most cases you will get what you pay for and by the time you realize you have a problem it is to late. The cost for unnecessary repairs will be far greater then the cost for having your system installed properly by a professional in the first place.

As far as your well, someone may give you a cheaper price but if the well that they drill goes 400 feet deep as opposed to the contractor with the higher price, where his well was 200 feet deep, then, whose price was the best price?


Question: Can I be assured of having a certain quality or quantity of water in my well?


Answer: Unfortunately there is no way to determine either the quality or quantity of the water that will be found in your well, prior to the actual drilling of your well. Once your well has been completed, you will know the quantity of water encountered but will not know the quality of the water until it has been tested. Each County is different as far as the water quality testing is concerned. Some counties only require bacteria testing while a few require testing for as many as 125 parameters. This is something that you would need to speak with your local Health department official about.

There are generally 3 main components that will effect your water quality and in most cases, they can be treated through filtration systems. The 3 biggest areas of concern are Iron, Ph, & Hardness. Once the water quality has been analyzed, appropriate filtration systems can be recommended. Once again, use a professional for these services or you could wind up paying huge sums of money for a filtration system that you don't need or paying for a filtration system that simply will not do the job for you. Ask your drilling contractor if they offer these services.


Question: How much water do I really need to operate my home on a daily basis?

Answer: A lot of factors need to be considered before this question can be answered. How many people will be living in the home? Do you plan on doing considerable outside watering for your yard or landscaping? Will you have a swimming pool and expect to use your well water for filling or capping it when needed? Will you have livestock to water and if so, how many? Another thing to consider is if you are planning on having a sprinkler system installed.

All of these uses require certain amounts of water and these are questions that you would need to have answered prior to drilling. It is better to plan ahead and know what your intended use will be. Only then will you have any idea as to how much water you really need. Once again, speak with your drilling contractor about these concerns prior to drilling.

One important point to keep in mind is that while you may want a certain amount of water, there is no guarantee that you will find it and occasionally your well may not produce enough water to supply your home. If this is the case, then your options are to either continue drilling in hopes of finding water at a deeper depth, terminate the drilling operation at that point, or make arrangements to have a second well drilled at another location on your property. If this option is taken, another permit would be required from your County Health Department before drilling could begin in the second well.

Regarding low yield wells, storage becomes a huge factor. I have seen wells that produced 1/2 gallon per minute (GPM) or less and have provided an adequate water supply for a home due to the depth of the well and the storage that it contains. You simply learn what you can and what you cannot do. In the case of a low yield well, it is highly recommended that certain types of safety devices be installed to prevent from being burnt up due to a lack of water.

Once again, seek the advice from you professional drilling and water system contractor.

Question: I have been offered a "Package" deal for my well and water system installation. Please explain what this is and is it a good deal for the customer?

Answer: A "Package" deal is a proposal where certain well companies will offer the customer a set firm price for the drilling of the well and the complete water system installation. One fee for all services rendered. I am sure you have heard the saying, "if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is". On very few occasions have I ever seen a package deal that favored the customer. First of all, a drilling contractor, in most instances, has no way to know the depth of your well until it has been completed and only after the well has been completed, can the water system be sized and priced accordingly. If it is done prior to this information being known, I can assure you that your best interest is not being considered. If the well goes deeper than what that contractor figured, corners will be cut in order to make up what the contractor lost and I have seen some instances where some drilling companies have actually removed their equipment from the property once a certain depth has been obtained due to finding no water and they decide to cut their losses at that point. READ THE FINE PRINT!

If someone offers you a "Package Deal" and you accept it, be prepared to accept a water system that, in most cases, will be undersized. Rarely, if ever, will a water system be oversized in a "package deal" and an undersized water system will lead to bad water pressure, low yields, and premature pump failure due to an undersized pressure tank in most cases.

QUESTION:  Do I need a signed contract to have a well drilled?

ANSWER:  In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a signed contract is required by law.  Not only does a signed contract protect the contractor, it protects the consumer as well.  With a signed contract, the details of the work to be done as well as the pricing associated with the work to be done should be included, along with the terms for payment for the services rendered.

DO NOT HIRE A CONTRACTOR WITHOUT HAVING A WRITTEN CONTRACT FOR THE WORK THAT IS TO BE DONE!

PROTECT YOURSELF!

In closing, these are only a few of the questions that you may want to ask the prospective drilling contractor but the answers to these questions will certainly get you moving in the right direction in making your final selection.



For a free Professional Consultation, Contact Us Today!

Leazer Brothers, Inc.

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LeazerBrothers@verizon.net


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