They cut me off - but I own part of the well?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by steveinphoenix, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. steveinphoenix

    steveinphoenix New Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    I bought this property last year - small monthly payment for water - the folks in charge of the common well hand delivered me a note saying I could only water on certian days... I screwed up and they cut me off - dug up the lines and capped off my water... My deed shows I own 1/24 of the well... I figured they would fine me or something - but no... they capped me off. I have to haul water in - after buying a storage tank and pump to pump water into the house. So now here I am, my property value just fell through the floor since I have to haul water. I'm wondering if anyone out there knows anything about Arizona laws - do I have a case against them? The original owners that split the land provided that evenyone pay thier fair share (based on acerage) for water. I was paying and now that they cut me off - they are still sending me monthly bills for water that I am not receiving??? Any help would be cool... If you want to email me directly please do so at

    Thanks all...
  2. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2002
    Seems pretty drastic to me for just watering on a day you weren't suppose to. Not sure you are giving the whole story??? Maybe they warned you about watering and you just ignored it? Maybe you haven't heard about the water shortage in the western states that requires huge efforts at water conservation???

    First mistake is buying property where you don't own your own water source. I would never, never, ever in a million years buy a property that wasn't hooked up to a city water supply or had it's own well with 100% water rights. Land without water is not worth anything.

    So, if I were you, I would be digging my own well. That will be expensive in AZ. Another option is to walk away and buy a property that allows you to water when you want.

  3. CurtisWilliams

    CurtisWilliams Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2005
    North of Omaha, on the banks of the 'Muddy Mo'
    It sounds like some crucial information is missing. Namely, the rules governing the water usage policy and the sanctions for failing to follow these rules. You should have these. You NEED to have these. If you don't have these, you're flying blind.

    Get these rules, read them and make sure that you understand them frontwards, backwards, inside out and upsidedown.

    They made the rules, they enforce these rules, you need to follow these rules, yet you don't know what they are. What's wrong with this picture?
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 20, 2004
    Such issues have paid for many, many, many lawyers fabulious vaccations over the years.

    1. You need the exact rules & documents of all water 'rights' you have. We can't guess what these documents saw, & it only counts what _exactly_ is written down, not what one remembers or hears or thinks.....

    2. You need an expensive lawyer.

    There is no help from the internet, this issue is _way_ to thorny & complex. One needs to be aware of that when buying properties with such complex access to a basic need - you are at the mercy of 23 other people. Somehow you tickd off enough of them that they hav left you high & dry. There likely i more to this story than you have said......

    To restore your water access, you need _all_ the paperwork, and a lawyer.

    Only thing that will help you.

    24 famlies sharing a well is a pretty huge demand on one well, I can see where lots of conflicts arise. Sounds like you walked into a bad deal, and didn't follow the rules. Now push has come to shove.

    Note that if you stop paying your water assessment bill, that can hurt you legally in trying to retore your pipes. A lawyer may have you pay into a trust fund, or some such arrangement, which preserves your rights to owning the water without actually handing the money over to the association. Be real careful here, without legal advise from a good lawyer, you can really cut yourself off from all hope in a hurry.

  5. wildwestwoman

    wildwestwoman Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Ash Fork, AZ
    This is in Steve's defense. He's lucky to have any access to a well in AZ. We have to haul water or have water hauled in. It's not uncommon or unusual out here. Even some developed areas (subdivisions) have haul water situations. We could have had a well dug and maybe we would have gotten water... maybe not. The minimum cost would have been $40,000. We can purchase a lot of water for that.

    I'd talk to an attorney and see what can be done. Even if you were at fault maybe something can be worked out.

    Best wishes in ARId Arizona.

  6. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 13, 2004
    Middle of nowhere along the Rim, Arizona
    I'm on a shared well in AZ. You'll need a lawyer to look at things to see if they were able to do what they did. I believe the bylaws on our well agreement say that we could vote someone "off the island" in effect until they behaved.

    However, if you were told NOT TO WATER on a particular day, and you did, and it caused problems, you are definitely in the wrong. In AZ, it's typical for wells to have very limited capacity. I know of one development not far from me that has two 1000 foot plus wells for 24 homes and STILL has to have a few thousand gallons of water delivered every day in the summer. One well pumps 6 gpm, the other apparently around 1 gpm.

    If you use water, more than you're allotted, or not on a day that you're alloted, and empty the tanks, it can cause problems. Among other things, if people have livestock on automated watering systems or have swamp coolers running, you can end up with dead livestock -- I lost a couple chickens a few weeks ago when a power outage cut out my cooling system, but the same would have happened if we ran out of water.

    Also, if the tanks are pumped completely empty, they can be knocked over by a monsoon storm. In ground tanks can be floated out of the ground. Can we say, expensive ... you've got to keep your tanks at least partly full!

    Also, why do you have vegetation that needs extensive watering???? If you've moved to a rural area in the state with very limited water -- and I assume that's the case if you've bought into a well share -- and you've planted landscaping that needs water, I don't have much sympathy for you. Plant xeriscape. Or water with grey water and the drip from your AC unit. Don't use the well water to water your lawn/shrubs/trees/etc. There's probably just not enough of it to go around.

  7. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

    Jun 16, 2002
    South Central Kansas
    You should have gotten paperwork along with your purchase telling you about the water situation--that is if what they are doing is a legal. This should have been brought out at closing if not before.

    Buying land ANYWHERE without an attorney isn't a wise thing to do. Entering into a legal document without having it scrutinized by an attorney is foolish unless you thoroughly understand the terms and conditions. Signing a document without reading its entirety is also foolishness. Just my opinion of course. Talk show host Bruce Williams is the one that pounded that through my head.

    Since you aren't getting any water at all, and since you state that each THAT RECEIVE water is to pay according to their acreage, it seems to me that they can't bill you for what you are not receiving. On the contrary, it seems that you own a part of the well and should be receiving payment since you are basically selling your share of the water to the others.

    Attorney time is my opinion.
  8. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    We are in southeast AZ and have our own well. Almost bought on a well share with another person. Like others have said see a lawyer. Also drill your own well if possible so you can have control over your own water.
  9. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2005
    Any chance a dew pond would work in your area? Subject posted a week or two on this forum. I believe they said a 30 x 30 ft pond would precipitate 120,000 gallons of water a year.