Buying Tips:

Water Wells

glass of water

Water wells have been around since 7500 BC and are obviously a tried and true utillity. The oldest known water wells are in Cyprus, and town squares often featured a community well well into the last century. Eventually these were replaced with collective water delivery systems from a city or town's water supply to each home, but the use of individual wells for home drinking water go back to 1820 in the United States. In Summit County, where plenty of people value privacy over city dwelling, the house are just too few and far between to efficiently run water to every house. Our rural character and low population density favor a distributed, individualized water system like this.

Buyers shopping for real estate may be surprised to find their potential Breckenridge home has a well and that the town water services are far to far away to fesible connect, or are just not available.

Well water is a great and proven alternative. Many well water users think their water is superior in taste to the nearby town water. In the long run, it's also cheaper.

Most homes located off municipal water and sewer systems, have an established well, so buying this home will not require a significant investment. But the cost of drilling a well, should be considered when buying vacant land. Maintenance on a well, its pump, regulator and shaft is rarely needed but should be checked annually. And you'll want the name of a good contractor to service the well in case of emergency.

In general, own a well is a plus. If the town water lines spring a leak, you'll still have water, but if the electricity goes out you won't be able to pump it.

The depth and quality of water wells can vary greatly, but most of those established in Summit County are quite deep. This means their reservoirs are not easily affected by surface contamination but are more expensive to drill.

For homes using water wells, often the waste water option is an Onsite Wastewater System (OWS) or a Septic System. State laws and county laws protect homeowners by requiring that wells are located a significant distance away (50 feet from a septic tank or sewer line and 100 feet from any leach field).

Breckenridge well permits are recorded with the Colorado Division of Water Resources, 303.866.3447. To obtain information on a water well and forms, visit the Colorado Division of Water Resources website.


Before purchasing a home, another advisable test to ensure that you have adequate water is a well pump test showing how many gallons per minute the well pumps and the recovery rate of your well.

Contact these well water inspectors for testing:

  • Blue River Home Inspections (Roger Hollenbeck), 970.389.7006
  • Blue Valley Water Specialists, 303.567.4128.

The buyer in a residential real estate transaction that includes the transfer of a registered/permitted well must complete a Notice of Change of Owner Name/Address Form with the Colorado Division of Water Resources prior to or at closing. The Title Company handling the closing will usually provide the Notice of Change form that the buyer signs and mails to the Colorado Division. If the subject well is not of record with the Colorado Division of Water Resources (no well permit), an application to register must be completed by the buyer in lieu of a Notice of Change of Owner Form.

Water Testing:

Testing is the only way to identify the presence of contaminated groundwater. There are three main reasons to test your water:

  • To ensure safe drinking water.
  • To evaluate the need for treatment.
  • To select an appropriate treatment device.

The Summit County Department of Health suggests that you should test your water for bacteria and nitrates at least once a year

For more information contact the Summit County Environmental Health Department, 970.668.4070