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Tired of incompetence

Posted by cas66ragtop (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 9, 11 at 21:11

OK - we are finally getting near the end and I just have a couple more gripes. The whole house selling ordeal always opens my eyes to just how incompetent a lot of "professionals" are.

Our last snag we hit was our well water test failed because they found too high of a level of coliform bacteria. I never asked to see the lab results, I simply trusted my realtor when she said it failed. I had to pay $260 to have the well bleached and get a new test performed. The whole time I was worried something was dreadfully wrong and I would be expected to pay thousands of dollars for some kind of water treatment system if the bleaching didn't work. Thankfully the second test passed, and I quickly got the lab results.

The second lab results showed "less than 1/100ml coliform" and "less than 1/100ml ecoli". Seeing these results got me curious as to what the first test showed. I got the original lab results, which were performed by a different lab. The first results just said "coliform present" with no level shown, and they said "ecoli not present". So......it got me thinking, just because coliform was present, how was that automatically a failure? I am sure we all ingest a certain level of bacteria every day, and its not like we are all in danger. I also wondered how ecoli was not present on the first test, but after bleaching it was less than 1/100ml (technically present) on the second test. Basically, I feel I got suckered into bleaching the system and paying for a new test when the first one was probably acceptable all along. My fault for not asking to see the results of the first test before agreeing to pay for additional treatment. But again, here I am trusting the "professionals". I'm not blaming the realtors here - but I do find fault with the labs for results that sort of contradict each other, and neither one is very informative - and nobody seems to know what an "acceptable level" would have been.

Incompetency story #2 - the title attorney's assistant emailed my realtor to find some info about me. She sent the email at 1:45pm Friday. Realtor emailed me at 4:35pm Friday. I didn't get the email until 5:45pm when I got home from work. By this time, they are already gone, and now I have to wait until Monday to contact them. You would think people would realize you don't wait until late Friday to do this, especially during the holiday season. This could have been avoided if both of them would have called via telephone vs emails. Our closing is Friday the 16th - time is of the essence - who knows if me giving them the info they needed 4 days before closing instead of 6 days makes the difference in whether or not we can close. Probably not, but it still irked me nobody could pick up a phone. Then the lawyer's assistant, who I assume should have to be somewhat intelligent, sent the following text to my realtor: "I need there loan number and the lender's social". Haha - THERE! I hope she meant SELLER'S social.

Of course the home inspector also came up with some really ridiculous "issues", but we did very well there. The buyers got the house for such a good price, I told their realtor that the house is now "as is". They took me seriously, only asked for 3 repairs, and I only agreed to 1 (at the cost of $15) - so I guess that more than makes up for the other things.

OK.......I just wanted to complain some more. Thanks for letting me vent. I will be glad when all this is finally over.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tired of incompetence

Less than 1ug/100mg doesn't mean that it is present. It means that the lowest standard they ran was that dilution. Probably because below that level doesn't matter, or sensitivity of the instrument. There could have been a peak showing presence of ecoli & coliform below the level that could be calculated, but can't tell that without seeing data. I'd give the 2nd lab a passing grade. But... The 1st lab sounds like they did a half-butted job. I can't imagine turning it results of "present" without calculating amounts. Seriously, most samples could be concentrated to a level that most anything could be found in small amounts. Either you didn't get the entire lab results or that lab is lazy or shoddy. Anyway I'm glad you got it resolved. Good luck with the rest of the process.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

Yeah... "present" is meaningless. You should have asked for the results. My well always shows precense of chloriform. Most species are beneficial.
Cass66... if your biggest complaint is that it took your agent not even 3 hours to forward you an email, then you are doing OK.
When I take a listing, I ask which forms of communication each owner prefers. MAybe she thought calling you at work would be rude...


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RE: Tired of incompetence

The description of "present" has usually a statement next to it "too high to count", in my neck of the woods.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

"Most species are beneficial."

Only in the lower intestine (for warm blooded animals.

There presence in other parts of ht digestive tract is often a problem.

They are an indicator of contamination that is easily cultured and counted.

While they are ubiquitous in the environment, they may be an indicator of ongoing contamination from a septic system, or a failed upper well casing (or on an old well no well casing).


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RE: Tired of incompetence

It could also be from a neighbors septic leaching. I used to get my well tested every few years because I had salt-water fish and the water chemistry would get thrown off by nitrates in my well water. Seems my property was once a horse farm.

I had chloriform on and off over the 35 years we lived in the house. One time a high level was detected due to a neighbors septic. We had the well bleached and the neighbor replaced their fields and it was fine.

Your report should have shown the amount of contamination. Before we sold our house, I had my well bleached and it tested well. Most people don't think to do that but it can save you a headache.

Jane


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RE: Tired of incompetence

"I had salt-water fish and the water chemistry would get thrown off by nitrates in my well water. Seems my property was once a horse farm. "

A buddy with a salt tank had to go to his mother's 60+ year old house for water to even treat.

His newer house is still forming the coating in the copper supply lines, and the copper level is excessive (so high a resin filter ad an activated charcoal filter saturated in a mater of weeks).

I still remember having to order salts from the chemical supply house (a chem teacher had to order some of them) and then mix up everything correctly.
At least you can get salt now by the bag.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

Yes I am happy my house is finally selling, and no I don't have much to complain about. Its just the principle of the thing. I had to shell out $260 more to satisfy the buyers because the first lab scared them (and me too) into thinking something was wrong. Then you see the results, and realize what a crappy little report it is, hardly worth the paper it was printed on. Then you realize they do this to everyone, and are responsible for making other people spend money that was unnecesary - but it doesn't matter, as long as they turn a profit, right? Screw the consumer.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

I agree, Cas. We had an inspector who told the buyers that our chimney needed to be relined because he saw a crack. The crack was on the facade around the fireplace in the living room. The buyers were Asian, their English wasn't good, they got so scared. I knew he was wrong and then heard him recommend a Chimney company, in the area, and handed them a card. Luckily I was present at the time and spoke up telling them that crack in the brick had been there when we bought the house 35 years ago. Our fireplace was cleaned yearly, as we used it during the winter, and I said I would call my chimney man.

I called, he laughed, agreed to write a guarantee that the crack was in the facade and the chimney itself was in excellent condition.

I did a little research and found that the 'chimney company' recommended by the buyers inspector was a family member. I reported this to my RA who filed a complaint against him.

When selling a house, money flies out the windows in more ways than one!

Good luck in your new house,

Jane


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RE: Tired of incompetence

"The description of "present" has usually a statement next to it "too high to count", in my neck of the woods."

I agree. I'd hate to drink water with poo in it and don't blame the buyers for being concerned.

We almost bought a house with a contaminated well. The owner had two wells. Never capped the first one. Then a 'little birdie' at the bldg dept told us the next door neighbors septic field overflowed just before their house went into foreclosure. Nobody fixed it.

Between that and the rednecks trespassing with their ATV's, we decided it would be better to keep looking.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

Jane - thanks wishing me good luck in the new house. I have actually been in the new house for 4 years now - it has taken me this long to finally get rid of the old one. Haha! Yes I agree, there are lots of people out there who are supposed to be helping the buyers/sellers but are actually more interested in helping themselves. Its a shame it has to be that way.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

"Its a shame it has to be that way."

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence." Napoleon Bonaparte

Steering by 'home inspectors' has been a problem almost forever, and they are far form the first group to try it.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

I have chlorinated wells for my clients, the cost, one gallon of chlorine, but please don't tell anyone, I'm only a Realtor and my E&O insurance doesn't cover it.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

Isn't proactively clorinating a well inappropriate? If the well shows as "clean" after clorination, but when the buyer actually moves in it is back to being unsafe, how is that ethical? Am I misunderstanding something here? (I had a well for 20 years, and we had to re-do it after contamination from a neighbour's septic)


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RE: Tired of incompetence

Without identifying the contamination source and making sure it is corrected/removed it is at beast a short term solution.

I had a second house for a while that had a spring for water.

It only tested positive for a short period after very large rain storms.
They had to be large enough to force large amounts of surface runoff into the dug pit the spring filled.
It was apparent something was wrong since the water would turn muddy. There was no sediment filter on the old system. It's a spring (with a decent flow rate and a nice 'reserve' pit).

We finally fixed it by having the dug pit enclosed below the drain height.
This stopped enough surface runoff contamination we never had another problem.
Flooding or a hurricane would probably still be an issue.


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RE: Tired of incompetence

"Isn't proactively clorinating a well inappropriate? If the well shows as "clean" after clorination, but when the buyer actually moves in it is back to being unsafe, how is that ethical? Am I misunderstanding something here? (I had a well for 20 years, and we had to re-do it after contamination from a neighbour's septic)"

If wells have not been used and are stagnant for a period of time, they will fail the health departments test. Chlorination and continuos use generally fixes the problem, however, every new owner is advised to periodically check the well water quality after they move in. If the well water fails the health departments tests after continuous use, it is advisable to hire someone competent to identify the source of the problem.


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