Anyone in Devon have private water?

(7 Posts)
Dig4Victory Tue 08-Mar-16 16:26:00

Hello everyone. I posted this on the main website, but just found this one for Devon, so I had to ask the locals, as you can tell me the unvarnished truth. This is aimed at anyone who lives in Devon who can tell me about boreholes, springs, wells etc as a source of domestic water. We are hoping to move to Devon this summer, my partner is happy with not being on mains gas and drains, but isn't keen on being off the mains water supply. I think it is a positive advantage. The places that are off the beaten track that we are looking for are on private water. Can anybody who actually lives/has lived in Devon with private water supply give me some information so I can persuade him it isn't the problem he imagines. Treatment costs etc. I have been told the mains water can also be a problem occasionally (?) Any replies gratefully received.

Amyksays Tue 08-Mar-16 19:03:26

As you prob know, there is private supply and private sewerage - we have the latter, and have a sewage plant that discharges clean water to a stream - God, this boring! It's shared between 11 houses, and we have to pay for inspections by the Environment Agency every year, which is about £1000 I think. But, we don't pay for swerage on the water bill, that is about 70% of it, it think. If it goes wrong can be thousands - £10k last time. Because the water supply come in on private ground, they cannot fit meters, so we are on an estimated rate (which is much lower). 👍

Re, that's the extent of my knowledge.

Dig4Victory Wed 09-Mar-16 11:36:53

Thanks Amyksays. The places we've looked at have their own septic tank or sewage treatment plant, so that isn't a problem. I persuaded my partner to accept this quite easily so I'm looking for anything that will make him accept being off mains water. Various websites all agree that regular testing and a decent filtration system (with alarm fitted) make private water perfectly safe, and can save you high water bills. I can't see a problem with it myself, but I'm prepared to be swayed if folk think it isn't safe. After all, we usually boil tapwater anyway, being avid teadrinkers, and the veg can be washed in bottled kept in the fridge. I found a Govt website which admits cases of E.Coli and Cryptosporidium occur in tap water, albeit infrequently.

maniacbug Mon 25-Apr-16 18:09:42

We are off mains water (and gas) in East Devon. We have a well and use a UV filtration system that runs off mains electricity. We have never run out of water! Ah, tell a lie - we did once when DH left the hose running by mistake for 24h. We had to replace the burnt-out pump and have never made that mistake again.
Also had a slight issue a few years ago when we had friends staying for Christmas and had a 10-hour power cut the night before Christmas Eve, so that meant no water… was just working out a toilet strategy when it came back on.
Er, wait, I'm supposed to be giving the positives! The water is lovely - slightly hard, but tastes so much nicer than the water we used to get in London. We've never had any problems other than the two mentioned above.
We have the septic tank emptied once a year, which costs around £250.
Good luck with the move!

Dig4Victory Tue 26-Apr-16 09:50:02

Thanks Maniacbug. We haven't had a formal offer on our place yet, but have found several places that would suit. I have relayed all the thoughts to him, but
still no dice. Perhaps if he falls in love with a place off mains water he will change his mind. I only see it as an advantage myself, but then my mind works logically!

beckyfalls Tue 26-Apr-16 14:09:03

Just to add to the mix - we've been living in a house with a private water supply on Dartmoor for 13 years now. For us, the positives have been that the water is very, very soft - no limescale and you don't need to use much soap/shampoo etc. Now for the negatives - we discovered quite recently that our water is very acidic, with very low pH, so it's very bad for teeth. All the copper piping in the house was replaced with plastic a while ago, as the water was so corrosive and the pipes kept springing leaks. Also, spring water + the remaining underground copper pipework = blue water when soap is added. This wasn't a problem until my teenage daughter started experimenting with hair dyes and bleaching - spring water can turn bleached or lightly coloured hair green! We buy large bottles of water for drinking now, to save our teeth - all the water filters we've looked at are great for filtering out bacteria, etc but don't change the pH of the water. Hope this helps and sorry it's not all positive, but it is based on personal experience. I'm sure all spring water is not the same, but it's worth getting the pH checked.

Dig4Victory Tue 26-Apr-16 16:05:08

Thank you Beckyfalls that is something to consider with Spring water, although I did spot something on this website
along the same lines. So far the places we have be interested in tend to have boreholes rather than springs, presumably if limestone is the bedrock this should lower any alkalinity (?)

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