Expert Opinions

Science is on both sides of the well water contamination question.

Water is supposed to be odorless, tasteless, and mostly colorless. In its natural state deep in the earth, away from pollutants, maybe it is. Maybe not so much for shallow wells our cities and private property owners pull water from. The diverse landscape of earth is more than just a pretty face, it’s working 24/7 to filter ground water back to into the wells we all drink from.

Municipal wells are tested and treated continuously. Private wells (those serving one or two or a few homes in rural areas) go untested for years. With the exception of mortgage lending requirements there is no obligation for an owner to test their well for bacteria and other contaminants. While our private wells may be drawing from the same source as the city down the road, the treatment plant is doing for the city users what no one is doing for the private well owner. A typical home owner has the well tested at the time of purchase because the lender wants proof the well water is safe. After that testing the water is not something on the seasonal punch list. It’s comforting to think safe one day means safe the next; not safe, but comforting.

Wisconsin is in the news for private well water contamination today. Experts on both sides of discussion have their facts and opinions. Science is on both sides of the water quality issue. As Realtors we will be brought into the conversation for sure. Regardless of my personal opinion, there are licensed experts who are expected to answer questions and provide evidence on this topic. I’m in no position to determine water safe or unsafe. My opinion is: Talk to the scientists and licensed professionals. When this topic gets the attention of national media it’s sure to be a topic Realtors are asked to comment on. I’m suggesting visiting the DNR and the Department of Health and organizations from both sides of the topic to get a perspective.

Clean Wisconsin

Remember the extent to which we are licensed and our boundaries. Advocating for or against either perspective is an unsafe road in a real estate transaction. You don’t have to take that road.

Author: Tom Meyer, Owner-Broker, Essential Real Estate, LLC Madison, WI

The real estate transaction, disclosure, and confidentiality are the business of a Wisconsin licensee. It's in the transaction where the skill of the licensee, and their commitment to the law where the public is protected or placed at risk. What you see REALTORS do to brand themselves and their firms, promote their service, advertise, and process paper do not require a license. I believe negotiations to create and honor a real estate purchase agreement is where the agent has the greatest value in a transaction. Paying professional fee rates for the administrative services is a choice consumers deserve. Old business model driven commission rates are taxing the home equity of American home sellers. Essential Real Estate was created to put more money in the hands of the consumer by eliminating expenses for the firm and charging a fair price for the real real estate service.

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