Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are New City Wells the Unintended Consequence of Raising Indianapolis Water Rates?

I live in a neighborhood on the city's northwest side that doesn't have city water.  Instead we have wells.  (I am on the city sewer line fortunately though.)   While I have no water bills, occasionally though, every few years, I have a repair that costs a few hundred dollars.  Yesterday was one of those days.  The pump guy came out and replaced a defective pressure tank.  Still having the well is cheaper than city water.

I struck up a conversation with the pump guy.  He told me his business had picked up and that he was installing more wells since news of the utility sale came out.  One of those wells he said he installed was for a former high level executive with the Indianapolis Water Company.  The former executive complained how they were going to jack up the rates and he wanted nothing to do with city water anymore.

That got me to thinking.  If they are going to raise rates, what's stopping people from opting out of city water and going with a well?    Well water works perfectly fine, especially if you have a water softener.  If you start raising the rates, I would think a lot of people may choose to do what the city water executive did...opt out of the system.


Had Enough Indy? said...

I suspect the cost of drilling a new well would inhibit many from following this course of action.

You have me wondering, also, which bill will go higher - water or sewer?

Downtown Indy said...

My understanding is if you have city water available to your lot you CANNOT put in a well. Legally, that is.

Had Enough Indy? said...

That would seem to run counter to a property owner's water and mineral rights. If you can't drill a well, how can you access the water that you have a legal right to?

Paul K. Ogden said...


Assuming the pump guy is correct, you don't have to take city water. I don't know if he's correct. The former water executive lives where there is city water though and he opted out.

HEI, the initial drilling and installation of the pump would be expensive, but you'd make it back in just a few year. Also if the rates go sky high, people who live in houses with wells will have the value of their homes enahnced.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Paul - I know you're not a believer in global warming/climate change... but for those of us who are, water rights will become more precious and enhance property values, too. Even in Indiana.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Actually I do think the planet is becoming warmer. The trouble is there is no evidence man is causing it to any signficant degree instead of simply being a natural part of the Earth's climate cycle that's been going on for 4.5 billion years. Most of the Earth's history has not had ice at the polls. The climate has been warmer before and CO2 levels higher at times before man walked the Earth.

Also another they never prove is that a warmer climate is necessarily worse for mankind. In fact the history of the planet shows man does a lot better with a warmer climate.

Having said that, I'm all for anything that makes my house more valuable.