Alright, let’s use some hypotheticals to demonstrate this point: say you are staring at a totally untouched, five-acre stretch of land. You decide to build a house on it, but you need to service it. So, you have to pay to get electricity to it, and install a septic system, and dig a well to have water. What makes more sense to you? To dig a hole for a septic tank without knowing what your digging into, or to survey the land first? What if you bury that septic tank right on top of the best source of water?blog pic

Dollars and sense

In the above-mentioned scenario, you’d likely want to relocate your septic system, which means digging a new spot for it, and then repairing the old spot to accommodate a well – and of course, you don’t want these two things to be too close to each other either. It costs money to buy a septic system and have it installed, and it costs money to remove and relocate a septic system. It also costs money to have a proper well drilled and built – even if that well turns out to be dry. So at the end of the day, doing a proper land and water survey is the best way to guard against making costly mistakes.


A survey should always be the very first thing you do on your land before anything is built. You need to know exactly what your plot is made of, especially if you are in a rural location. You don’t want to build your home on unstable ground, and you don’t want to dig multiple dry wells – you certainly don’t want to put your septic system in the wrong place. Yes, land and water surveys cost money, but if you are going to build your own home, or need a new well because a previous one is now dry, you don’t want to forgo these costs simply to save a buck. Let’s face it, at the end of the day skipping a survey could end up costing you more than you budgeted for anyway. Do it right the first time.

Survey before you buy

You might come across undeveloped plots for sale, and there is a good chance those plots have already been surveyed, so you’ll want to go over those records before you buy any land. If a survey has not been done, paying to have one completed prior to buying any land is important. Think about it like you would if you were buying a home; you never purchase a home without doing a professional home inspection first, because it’s important that you know what you are buying – and it can give you negotiating leverage over the price. The same is true for buying land. Never buy something you aren’t fully informed on. The land could be contaminated, it could be primarily boggy, or it could have no usable water resources on it.

The fact of the matter is, cutting corners to save money now will always result in you paying that money later anyway, and possibly more than you would have paid the first time around. Collect all the information you can to begin with so that you can make an informed decision the first time around.

To get an affordable, high-quality water survey that will locate groundwater and estimate the depth and yield so your well drillers know exactly where to drill, contact American Water Surveyors today.