No water no dwelling!

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No water no dwelling!

Post by ourtoscana on Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:30 pm

Here are the 4 typical cases that you may encounter before, during or after a purchase of any property:

1)     Existing water mains
When viewing a country property make sure that you clearly understand the exact location of the water meter and the route it takes to get to the house. There are two common problems that need to be checked:
 
The first is the state and depth of the pipe. Sometimes the pipes are old iron ones subject to deteriorations and leaks. The depth of the pipe will determine the frost resistance during the winter months especially in properties over 300m in altitude. Shallow pipes can be easily rooted up by wild boar in forested areas. Any pipe crossing open fields should be 1m in depth as ploughs can easily reach 60cm or more in uneven surfaces. 

Secondly you need to pull out the land maps to understand if the pipe is cutting across somebody else’s land. If so, either the vendor needs to demonstrate that the pipe has been there for 20+ years or he/she has signed a servitude contract with the neighbours. Otherwise, it will be necessary to involve the neighbor(s) to sign off at the completion. It is also wise to incorporate this unforeseen into a preliminary contract to avoid paying extra later. 

2)     New water mains
If you require a mains connection in a country property, it makes sense to run it along the access road and avoid cutting through fields which may be shorter. Allow about 25euro/m for excavation to 80cm, 1”pipe, sand & backfill. This price may vary considerably (21euro to 30euro) depending on the location, access for excavators and lorries. Upon completion, the road surface will often need to be made good with fines aggregate.

With barns and other non-dwelling buildings, make sure that you consult the local regulations. In some municipalities, a barn conversion will not be allowed if the services and utilities are located more than 200m away so watch out!

As a general rule, all new/recent water meters have to be located just off a public access to allow the water companies to take occasional readings. The meters are positioned about 30cm above ground level and the size of the housing will vary among the various water companies. Make sure that you stuff some glass wool insulation around the meter as prolonged frosty periods have become quite common over recent years causing ruptured pipes and meters. 

3)     Water continuity, pressure and hardness
Water continuity can become a critical matter during the Summer months of July and August. Hose-pipe bans are the norm over recent years combined with daily rationing when reservoirs hit record lows. The only way to understand if the property you are viewing is subject to such problems is to contact the water company to find out what has been happening over the past 5 years in the area. Alternatively, you could ask the neighbours who will often “spill the beans” in a matter of seconds! Remember, your holidays can be easily ruined if water becomes an issue. For those of you who do rentals, this can trigger furious customers, refunds and claims for damages!
 
As a precaution, under such circumstances, it makes sense to install a 1000 litre tank and a circulating pump. This will easily get you through the daily rationing and keep the water pressure well above 1bar for boilers and equipment to operate correctly. 

Finally, water hardness will determine whether you’ll be requiring a water softener or not. Apart from the white streaks you see in the shower, the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water will cause scaling, require more detergents and over time could cause serious damage to boilers. Be prepared to budget about 1000euro to 1300euro for a water softener and have plenty of space available for bags of salt! 

4)     Drilling a Well
Sometimes, it might make sense to drill a well as an alternative to an expensive mains connection. For those interested in having irrigation, it becomes an essential source.  

The question we’d all like answered is how deep do I have to drill and what kind of flow should I expect? Many people resort to water diviners, others to geologists who will do seismic arrays and calculations and others talk directly to the well drillers who often have local knowledge.  

To drill a well, you will need a geologist to prepare a report and do a planning declaration known as a S.C.I.A. Many municipalities have depth limits for dwelling purposes so watch out (eg. 30m). This procedure will generally take about 60 days to complete. When obtaining quotes, make sure that you get the drilling companies to itemize the following costs:

·         set-up for the drilling rig (800euro to 1200euro)
·         drilling and liner pipe euro/m (70euro to 80euro/m)
·         submersed pump, sensors, control panel, piping & electrics (700euro to 1200euro) 

In addition, it is prudent to have discounted costs in the case that drilling has to be abandoned.  

A flow of 10litre/minute flow will provide about 14,000litres over 24hrs.  The amount of water for irrigation purposes depends heavily on the amount of lawn you plan to have. Generally, as a rule of thumb, 4 litres/smq/day would be necessary during the Summer. If we look at a small 150smq lawn, then that works out to be 600litres per day or 18,000litres over 30 days. Remember that dry spells tend to last anywhere between 60 to 90 days. 

Finally, if you are interested in purchasing a property with a well source only, then you’ll need to get the water analyzed for contaminants and the flow should also be tested carefully. Given the importance of water, these essential conditions should be written into any offer-and-acceptance agreement with acceptable limits spelt out before making further commitments.

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Re: No water no dwelling!

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:14 pm

what another brilliant detailed post, superb!!!

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Re: No water no dwelling!

Post by Miss Demeanor on Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:14 pm

We're famous!  We are!

Someone has nicked the link posted above by Ourtoscana and posted it into a thread on the Abruzzolutely Forum!

Party time!
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Re: No water no dwelling!

Post by ghiro on Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:48 pm

Shameful! Shocked Shocked 

Perhaps the inhabitants of Abruzzolutely Forum will begin to realize that they're better of here than there.

Party time indeed! Very Happy
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.... or both

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:25 pm

ghiro wrote:Shameful! Shocked Shocked Perhaps the inhabitants of Abruzzolutely Forum will begin to realize that they're better of here than there.

Party time indeed! Very Happy
.... or both Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 

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Oh forgot to add... glad to see...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:40 pm

Miss Demeanor wrote:We're famous!  We are!Someone has nicked the link posted above by Ourtoscana and posted it into a thread on the Abruzzolutely Forum!

Party time!
Oh forgot to add... glad to see the old witch is back on form... xXx

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Re: No water no dwelling!

Post by Miss Demeanor on Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:56 pm

Not really back on form Steve - just trying to kill sad thoughts from my mind at the moment.
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Ok...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:14 pm

Miss Demeanor wrote:Not really back on form Steve - just trying to kill sad thoughts from my mind at the moment.
MD, we all have those at some point... Really sorry if that is the case for you at the mo...

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Re: No water no dwelling!

Post by modicasa on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:47 am

Drilling wells (trivellas)_ the legislation varies from province to province and region to region.  In some areas a SCIA will not cut it, you will need the Genio Civile to give you permission.  In other areas it is now virtually impossible to have a permission for a well for irrigation.  Many comunes now put meters on the wells to assure that you have kept under your allowed limit of water.   What you must take care is when buying a property with an existent well, make sure that it was sunk with all the appropriate permissions, it is getting more and more difficult to 'regularise' an 'improper' trivella.

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Re: No water no dwelling!

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:30 pm

We have a spring and after speaking to the ASL, who govern the rules for using it for drinking water, it is a bit of a nightmare. We will have to have the water analysed every 3 months, every year at least and must have a flouridation system. Thinking of other ways of getting water.........
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Re: No water no dwelling!

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