Water & Acreage Questions

Often when I write about our lifestyle or our house search, readers will have questions or wonder why we do the things we do.  Believe it or not, we most always have a reason for the things we do, if it’s a reason only understandable to us.

With the house we’re currently trying to get a contract on, it originally was to be sold with 20 acres but one side boundary was about 20 or 30 feet from the side of the house.  This is a drawing after we had enlarged the acreage to about 26 acres.  The original side boundary was even closer to the house before we asked for more land.

We asked them to redraw it several times and when they got to 45 acres is when Vince was happy with the distance from the house to the property line.

With no restrictions out there, there’s no telling what could come in on that side.  Chances are nothing because it will probably always stay part of the big ranch but you never know and we would feel more comfortable having that extra buffer, especially as thick as the tree cover is for most of that land.

About the water well – you know that I try to stay prepared with lots of supplies and lots of food on hand for whatever might come along.  I’m not an alarmist.  I don’t expect that something bad is going to happen but if it does, I don’t want to be left to wait for FEMA or some government agency to come and take care of me.  Remember Hurricane Katrina?

Despite all the preparedness that I do, we’ve known for the past few years that water would be an issue.  We’ve lived where our only water source was either city water or water supplied by some rural district.  We had hoped to have a spring fed pond and a water purification system.  With the drought here, we’ve seen so few ponds that have water in them and we realized that even a pond is an unreliable source of water unless it’s fed from a very deep spring and most are not.

Here’s the front page of our local newspaper from Thursday of this week:

I think a lot of people don’t realize how much trouble this area is actually facing.  A lot of this whole area, Brownwood and surrounding area, gets their water from this lake.  It’s now at the lowest level ever and large parts of it are completely dry. Since the article in Thursday’s paper, the bridge has been lined with people parking and taking pictures.  I can see the bridge from my deck and I’ll bet every time I’ve looked out, there have been anywhere from 6 – 8 cars, to maybe 2 or 3 cars parked on the shoulder taking photos.  Folks who don’t see the lake every day and just assume our water supply will always be there are probably feeling a bit uncomfortable right now.

In certain areas of the county and in surrounding counties, water wells are providing plenty of water.  Yes, they can go dry and some of the shallow wells are going dry but most of the deep wells are into good aquifers (mainly the Trinity in the eastern part of the county) and most of those are recharged from areas far away that maybe isn’t in such a drought and don’t depend totally on rain water in one particular area as does Lake Brownwood.

The house we’re hoping to buy has a good well and the rural community water line runs along the highway so at any time we could tie into that by paying the $500 connection fee and running the line to the house.  We feel the well will have water longer than will the community water which relies on the lake.  We may or may not drink the well water.  We’re drinking bottled water now because the lake water tastes bad.

Having a water supply is important to us.  It isn’t to everyone and even to some who are concerned, there’s not much they can do about it.  One of the reasons we’re having difficulty finding a house is that there are certain things we definitely want and will not do without.  For Vince, a good well is one of those things.

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Those reasons all make perfect sense to me. How far away from the house is the new property line (since the acreage was added to the offer)? I’m clueless when looking at photos such as the ones you posted. I mean…I can see it’s a bigger distance than in the first photo, but I still don’t know how many feet/yards have been added alongside the house now as a buffer.

  2. 2

    says

    Good reasoning! Water being the #1. Our shallow water well has dried up northwest of Ft. Worth. We do have community water, thank God. Our lake has diminished but not nearly like Lake Brownwood. On our news last night–a young puppy was rescued from a crack in the ground in the Garland area. They are closing recreational fields due to cracks in the ground and danger to young athletes. Wow.

  3. 3

    LadyBaltimore says

    That newspaper photo of the lake is startling. Praying for rain for Texas and other drought stricken areas.
    I think you’all are very wise to consider water sources. A lot of us (me included) just always think clean water will come out of the tap when we turn on the faucet.
    After a week without power last Spring after the tornado roared through here, I have a whole new respect for “preparedness”. Even when you think you’re prepared, you probably haven’t thought of everything.

    • 3.1

      Judy Laquidara says

      I know I’m never totally prepared but keep trying to do better. Having the water issue resolved will make me feel better but we don’t have the house yet. 🙂

      • LadyBaltimore says

        I have a “emergency” backpack each for my husband and myself as well as one for the pups thanks to something you wrote about “your” backpacks years ago.
        I think you’re way more prepared for emergencies than most people.

  4. 4

    Karen says

    We live in NE Indiana and have a well. I would have it no other way. Yes, they can be expensive, new pump last year was $3000 and there is upkeep on our water softener but the water is great tasting and with our propane gennie we never have to worry about drinking or flushing when the power goes out.

    • 4.1

      Judy Laquidara says

      Ah! A propane gennie. I knew there had to be something. The propane tank is right by the pump house so that’s something I’ll check into if we get the house. Thanks!

  5. 5

    Maxine says

    We are just one season out of a 15 year drought so understand all the problems over there ……..we still have large trees dying as a result of the drought but for the most part things looking better .
    I didnt run out of water have a bore here , but so many had to cart water for years ……..so get that well and make sure it is deep

    Maxine in Aus

  6. 6

    Sharon Spingler says

    When you buy or build, do you plan on using rain barrels to catch rain water? We had them when I was growing up for the gardens closest to the house.

  7. 7

    says

    You will like having a well for water and its all about the aquafer that it draws from and it looks like that is a good one. Its looks like a great parcel of land you have…..the surveyor is going to love plotting out this….4 different sections!!! I have my fingers crossed that you have a signed contract by the end of the day!!!

  8. 8

    Laura says

    Makes me glad I live in a California city that receives ample water from the Sierra Nevada mountains and has a huge aquifer to draw from. Even in a series of drought years, we get nowhere near the water situation that you describe. And brown water/ice as you described in an earlier post? Ewwww.

  9. 9

    Toni in TN says

    We had an extraordinary dought classification just a few years ago. Our reservior was just three months from being so low they could no longer draw water. Thank goodness the rains came in time! That lake served 250,000 people. Never thought we would run out of water in the south. Surely there’s enough humidity in the air to provide water!!!!LOL

  10. 10

    Sandy says

    I’m really surprised that Brownwood is just now restricting water usage. With the lake down so low, no one should be watering lawns on any day at any time and there should be fines for those who do. I’ve lived under those rules before. It’s only one way to conserve some of the water supply.

    • 10.1

      Cindy m says

      I think most of the Denver area has been under water restrictions ever since we moved here 10 years ago. This summer it really wasn’t necessary, but everyone has gotten accustomed to it. IHOAs have changed their rules to accommodate the drought.

  11. 12

    Liz says

    Wow – I am now just catching up on the posts – sorry about the house/land.

    I am also surprised that the city just put in restrictions on water use. My little city in central OK has a 4 step process (voluntary, 2 day/wk limit, 1/wk day limit to complete watering restrictions) that starts in June and is based on house number.

  12. 13

    says

    With all the house buying problems and the water issues in Brownwood, I think someone is trying to tell you something. I totally understand about having a house and all my stuff and being settled, but I really don’t think you are meant to buy something in that area of Texas. Just sayin! :>)