What is a normal water well in Western North Carolina

Over the past decade+, I’ve either personally had drilled, had clients that drilled, or been involved in transactions where a new well had to be drilled here in Murphy, NC. The one thing I’ve learned; there is no such thing as a normal well in Western North Carolina. Each one is different with several main components: depth, yield, and quality.

Fiberglass Well Cover
This fiberglass “fake rock” is a common well cover. It’s generally foam insulated to protect the well in Winter.

Depth: Perhaps it’ll help to understand where water comes from underground. There are aquifers, or creeks, and veins of water hundreds of feet underground that you want to collect and bring to your faucets. While many areas like Florida and Eastern North Carolina can hit water in 10-50 feet, the mountains of Western North Carolina is often 100-400 feet and can even be deeper. In rare instances, you can have a well drilled that never finds water or has a low yield; more on that in a moment. Some old-timers believe that “witching” a well will help you maximize your odds of finding the best spot to drill your well so you never have a dry hole. The deeper your well, the more “reserve” you have; meaning, your well acts as a storage tank and the deeper it is, the more storage space you have.

Yield: Depth is only part of the equation; how much water your well can produce is another major component. Yield is how many gallons per minute your underground aquifers and veins of water pour into your well. This one is easy – the more the merrier. I’ve seen yield of under 1/2 gallon per minute (GPM) to artesian wells that put out so much water the instruments to measure yield pegged out and we only knew that it was 100+ GPM. Those are rare and 1-10 GPM is far more common. If your well produces a lower yield than the well company recommends for household usage, there are some great options to maximize it like a buried storage tank or fracking, which expands the crevices to try to get more water flow.

This shows a common well arrangement under the cover.
This picture shows a lot under the cover! The well itself is to the right in the thicker pipe. The big blue tank is a pressure tank. This also has a rare feature – a hand pump on top of the well in the event of power or pump failure, you can still get water. Click to see a larger picture.

Quality: Western North Carolina is known for amazing water. In fact, many folks who live in Florida and other areas will tank water from here and bring it to their home because the water is so much better. pH is rarely a problem and any water quality issues we see usually are from rotten egg smell (sulfur) or red water (iron). The good thing about these water quality issues is they can almost always be resolved by a water filtration system. If it is needed, your well company can recommend the right system. They range from an inexpensive sediment filter (I think every home should have one. They protect your faucets and fixtures from sediment) to a tank-style system that costs around $1,650-3,200 depending on certain factors. Filtration technology has come a LONG way in the past decade and many of the systems require very little maintenance to produce the best water your taste buds have experienced.

Just a few personal experiences I’ve had:

  • The well I use daily produces 8 GPM and feeds two homes, a barn, and waters our animals with no issues. Other than a $100 sediment filter, we have nothing on it and it produces the most amazing water ever.
  • At our old house, the well was low yield with 3/4 GPM… and supplied about 10 houses. Fortunately, about 1/2 or better were part time occupants so it rarely had all 10 homes trying to get water. We CONSTANTLY had problems with water… until we installed a 1,500 gallon reservoir tank. That solved every problem we had because the storage tank supplied all the water to the houses and the well replenished it. It made the perfect buffer and we never had a supply issue again.
  • Well Tag on a Drilled Well
    This is a typical well tag that is supposed to be on a well casing. It shows all kinds of useful information to include Yield (bottom left) and depth (center right).

    A developer drilled a well getting an astonishing 100+ GPM that had very high iron. The homeowners on the well had issues with laundry turning red due to the high iron content. They installed a $2,000 well filtration system that cleans itself so it requires extremely low maintenance. The system completely resolved the iron problems and the water is now extraordinary. 

If you’ve wondered the basics on how wells work in Western North Carolina, I hope this helps! Looking for real estate? We would be honored to help. Give us a call at 1-866-687-7496 or contact us from our website and we’ll be there to assist.

Need a good well driller? Check out our Gotta Guy list with reputable local well drillers, contractors, and more.

We have private, shared, and community wells here. Learn the difference here.

John Poltrock 

Extraordinary Land for Sale with Septic System Installed And Well Water Access in Murphy NC

Here’s an extraordinary value on land for sale in Murphy NC! This property already has the SEPTIC SYSTEM INSTALLEDMAIN AND access to a shared well so you don’t have to drill a well either. Add in the foundation being in place, you can’t beat it! Located in Boulder Creek, it’s in a great community and has lots of infrastructure you would easily spend 12-15,000 on and not including the land! Priced at $17,500, it’s a HUGE bargain!

Click HERE for more Pictures and Information on this home for sale in Murphy, NC.

 The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team


How to Protect Your Well from Freezing Temperatures

We are blessed to live in Murphy, NC. A home where we enjoy moderate temperatures throughout all four seasons. However, that does not mean that you can’t prepare for extremely cold weather! Last year, we saw temperatures dip down to 0°! Now that winter is just around the corner, you should prepare and make sure your well is protected from freezing temperatures so you can enjoy a constant water supply throughout the winter.

Supplies you should gather and/or purchase:

  • An extension cord long enough to reach from a power supply to your well
  • A good quality utility light
  • Thermo Cube Picture40 watt STANDARD bulb – NOT a fluorescent or LED (you need heat, not energy efficiency)
  • A Thermo Cube (optional – this simple device will turn the light on and off automatically as needed. It can be purchased on Amazon)
  • You can opt to buy heat strips you can wrap around your well pipes from many hardware stores. If you go this route, you may not need the above items depending on its features. Personally, I prefer the lightbulb method. It is easy to test and ensure the system is working and also keeps the ambient air temperature in the entire well house/cover warm as opposed to strips that may only keep a certain spot warm.

Heres what to do with your supplies:

  1.  Well PictureRun your extension cord to the well and then plug in your Thermo Cube FIRST, if you opt to have one.
  2. Plug in your utility light next and leave it ON.
  3. Put the light and the plug under the protection of your well cover or house.
  4. And last but not least, keep your electrical parts elevated above ground in the event water does leak. You don’t want to damage any components should that happen.

Beside here is a picture of our well at home and you can see the utility light on and operational just left and below of the center of the picture. Be sure it’s not touching anything that can catch fire. It needs to be safely secured using zip ties or something similar. Put the well cover/house back over and, voila! You’re done!

Read our page on how to cheaply winterize your home so it is protected from freezing weather and temperatures.

Also read our page on how to unwinterize your house.

Good luck and stay warm!

 Call The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

What is a shared well or community well for water in Murphy NC?

In Cherokee County (which is Murphy, Andrews, Marble, Brasstown, and more) North Carolina, there are several sources of water your home or property may have access to. The most popular are:

  • This well includes (from left to right) the well head, pressure, tank and sediment filter. Fido in the background is just moral support 🙂

    City water – you hook to the town water supply. This is not common for most of our homes.

  • Private Well – you and only you own your own well and use it.
  • Spring – a natural water source coming from out of the ground on its own. It is usually capture by a basin of some sort and either gravity fed or pumped to your house.
  • Community or Shared Wells

Since this topic is on community or shared wells, I’ll focus on that. These sources are where multiple homes or structures use one (or in rare case, a series of) common water source. Wells are generally where our water comes from here, so most of the time you’ll it is a shared well.

In North Carolina, if you have a shared water system with more than 14 homes, it is considered a public water utility and it becomes governed by the state. Since this is a paperwork nightmare, you’ll generally find there are 14 homes or less on a system. My home, for example, has a well that is shared with 12 of my neighbors. It works great for us.

How are costs shared? There are many arrangements and are certainly no hard and fast rule how this works. The most common is each “member” pays $15-20 per month (or $180-240 per year) for the use of the water/basic maintenance. There’s no water meter, so that’s a flat rate. Those funds are to pay for power and maintenance, if any. The leftover funds are generally put in an account to pay for future maintenance. In the event a pump goes out or something more substantial that costs more than the fund has, everyone chips in equally to pay for the maintenance.

It’s a great system because many wells produce more water than one home can possibly use. When a well is shared, it lowers the cost of use dramatically for everyone involved. Not only that, it keeps the water “fresher” because you have a consistent draw on the well that keeps fresh water coming in and prevents the water from becoming stagnant.

So what’s the difference between a shared well and a community well? It totally depends on who you ask. The banks that provide financing on homes have a slightly different definition versus our real estate guidelines. However, a general idea is this:

  • Share well – one party actually owns the well and “shares” it with others. If you’re not the person who owns the land the well is on, you don’t have an ownership interest in the well, only a right to use it. This can be in writing and even recorded at the Cherokee County Register of Deeds to make it official and legal. It commonly has 14 or less people on a single source.
  • Community well – all the users share a source and there are commonly more than 14 people on a single source. Some are paid for through a fixed community fee while others are paid for by usage on a water meter, like Bear Paw..

With all that said, it’s a great way to have water in the mountains! Well water is my personal favorite because it comes right from the source! You could bottle my well water – it’s that good!

True Dove Tail Log Home for Sale in Murphy NC on Five Acres

You’ve just found a gorgeous true dove tail log home! This unique home is situated privately on 5 acres of land that provides you the ultimate privacy right in the heart of the mountains. You’ll see tons of turkey and deer – you can truly enjoy nature here!

There are two bedrooms and 2 and a half baths on a full finished basement. In addition, there’s a bonus room that could be used as an additional guest bedroom, hobby room – or for just about anything! The screened in porch on the back of the house is a great place to sit and enjoy your days. Inside the home, there’s a large, open floor plan with tons of attention to detail. Even the steps to the loft are made of a different wood on every step, so you’ll see Hickory, Maple, Oak, and many more.  There’s even a heated, jetted tub, a gas log fireplace, stoned patio, exposed beams, Metal roof, and much more.

The property itself is spectacular! The 5 acres has both two springs and a drilled well. The springs have tons of overflow that even fill the pond! The pond is a gorgeous setting with several Coy swimming in the fresh mountain water. And here’s a neat fact, the largest bottled water company in Murphy – Indian Hills Spring Water – is just down the way! The water is so good on Indian Hills that they bottle it! Imagine that!

There’s also a very nice barn for keep your tools and toys – and it has power so it could be easily used as a shop. An open loft is a great place to store your stuff so you’re never at a loss where to put things.

This Home is Now SOLD!!

Click Here to see all our REMAX Home and Land Listings for Sale in Murphy NC

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Contact The Poltrock Team Today – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Toll Free 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Skype: johnpoltrock

Information on Drilling A Well in Murphy and Cherokee County, NC

How much does a well cost? Who can I use to drill my well? Should I buy land without a well? How deep will I have to go to get water? What’s the chance I won’t get water? What happens if it goes dry? What kind of minerals are there going to be in my water? Will my water be good?

These are all questions I hear regularly when my clients and customers are looking buy real estate in Murphy, North Carolina. The truth is, these are all very pertinent questions that every buyer and investor should ask. The mountains make “hitting” water much different than flat land. The real advantage here in Cherokee County is that we have some of the purest, best tasting water come straight from a well and to your tap.

When it comes to wells, here’s a good summation – there are no guarantees. There’s good news though – experienced well drilling companies are a tremendous, and quite reliable, resource that can give you answers to your questions depending on the area you find your property. We frequently use and recommend Cherokee Well Drilling due to their extensive knowledge and many, many, many wells they have drilled.

Certain areas are prone to mineral deposits that can show up in your water supply. On the same note, certain areas are notorious for having deep and/or low yield wells. For example, parts of Hanging Dog, Wolf Mountain, Indian Rock Springs, and a few others are notorious for having deep and low yield wells. These really aren’t the norm but illustrate how you can ask to make sure the piece of real estate you choose is in a “safe” location.

Here’s the answers to many of those common questions. Yes – you can buy land without a well. People do it every day and end up just fine. Many swear they have the best water in the country. The answer to the rest of the questions? Ask your local well source, look at the neighbor’s well, and find out the history. The beauty of well water is that it is clean, pure, and reliable source of water. I, too, have a well I use every day and love it! You can also send your water to the state for a nominal $25 fee and find out the mineral content and whether there is any contamination from bacteria for only $10 more.

To sum it up, wells are a great source of water. Just ask a professional when you find the land you love and you won’t have to worry about sleepless, or thirsty, nights.

John Poltrock – The POLTROCK TEAM at REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call Today Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496