Posted by Robin H. Gary on October 9, 2014
These days, the real estate market in Central Texas is as hot as the summers! To make things easier and more transparent regarding well ownership, use, and restrictions, the District has worked with Charles Porter and the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR) to include water well and groundwater conservation district information in the Seller’s Disclosure Notice.
The last thing everyone wants is a longer form to include at closing, but when it comes to wells, they can either be a big asset or a big liability for a new property owner. Having complete understanding of the situation is best for all those involved.
There is a new section in the ABOR Seller’s Disclosure Notice that identifies if the property is within a Groundwater Conservation District and encourages the new owner to contact that District. It is the responsibility of the well owner to update ownership records, so the District can contact them in the event of a spill, construction of a new, neighboring well that may influence their water supply, drought conditions, water restrictions, etc.
Discussions are underway to further enhance the Seller’s Disclosure Notice to include information about the condition of the well–whether it is in workable/unworkable/unknown condition. This speaks to whether the well is an asset or a liability to the new owner. Abandoned wells can unintentionally allow contaminants into the groundwater system and can be very expensive to plug. Workable wells can provide reliable, clean water–as long as they are maintained and responsibly used.
If you have questions about a well on a property, contact the local groundwater district to see if there are historic records. Our number is 512-282-8441.