In the old days of real estate the results of a water test was of the utmost importance because if you didn’t have water, you didn’t have anything! Old westerns movies often depict ghost towns where either the gold production played out or the water wells dried up, leaving nothing but dilapidated buildings and tumble weeds. It’s not that much different today as far as the need to have a viable water source. What’s different is that new technology has made certain properties viable for building sites that a couple of decades ago may have been left to the same fate as a ghost town. Back in those good old days there was lots of elbow room giving displaced folks many options for finding a better property if a water source disappeared. Now it seems as though most of the good dirt is taken, and because of the high demand for rural properties, previously undesirable properties are being pressed into service for building sites. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” That is certainly true in the well development arena! Innovators have made great strides towards improving the quality and quantity of water sources. It now seems rare to find a property where there is virtually no way to develop a water source. Lack of quantity is often overcome by more austere usage along with methods used to increase flow. Green technology has created options for restricted consumption that once seemed silly, such as Zeroscape (waterless or self watering landscaping) and toilets and sinks that restrict flows. Not only can water be conserved but it can be stored in holding tanks and replenished during hours of household non-use. Flows from low producing wells drilled in hard rock formations can be enhanced dramatically with fracturing techniques (similar to how gas well production is maximized) using high pressure water to increase flow and create additional storage space. But what if the quality of the water is just plain nasty? Contaminants that are frequently found in well tests include: lead, arsenic, nitrates, coliform, iron and iron bacteria which can be slimy and brown or even black. The cancer causing element, Uranium, has recently been added to the required testing list for several eastern Washington counties. A recent case revealed long black hairs in a water sample, which when investigated, proved to be from a decomposing moose that had met its untimely death by falling into the storage cistern. According to reputable well experts, virtually every negative well issue including those listed above can be overcome by initial decontamination efforts and treatment systems and/or periodic cleanup sessions. Some of these treatments can be expensive, but when compared to the alternative, are at least acceptable solutions.