Our own personal water treatment plant

Our vision for our Eureka Yurts property has always been to keep it small. We’re thinking a total of six to 10 yurts will give visitors a feeling of being immersed in nature and allow us to run it ourselves, with limited staff. On the surface, doesn’t this sound like a reasonable dream? A manageable undertaking? We thought so, too, but now we’ve run into a roadblock: the well.

We knew we’d have to drill a well. What we didn’t know was that it would have to be asemi-public water system. It is our understanding that if more than 25 people will be using it, you must have this level of a system. We’re talking three, 1000-gallon holding tanks plus a well-house! Call us crazy but it was never our dream to develop our own personal water treatment plant.

We’re still learning and trying to determine if this is truly necessary for our property. Not only is it an enormous project in itself, but it requires a large up-front investment that we were not expecting.

Other than scouting a location for the well, we haven’t started the process yet. When we were out there a week ago, we learned that the location selected previously won’t work – it’s too close to the property line.

Once the well location is finalized, we start by paying a pro to drill in three test spots – making sure to drill down below the limestone shelf – and send the three samples to the state for testing. How long will this take? If the samples pass, we can begin drilling the well in earnest.

In a way, the slowdown caused by the location is frustrating but it also bought us some more time to investigate. Is a semi-public water system really required for our property?

We see ourselves opening the property with, say, three yurts: one for The Proprietors (us) and two for renting out. It will be completely self-run and very low maintenance so we can keep our customers totally happy while we master all the details of running a great property. If we’re starting small like this, might it be acceptable to drill a personal well? Again, we do plan to grow to six to 10 yurts over time. We’re wondering if it’s possible to drill additional wells over time as the property grows, which would probably add up to the same total cost as the semi-public one, but they could be paid for from the property’s income rather than a huge up-front investment.

We love the area around Eureka Springs. And we love the idea of simple yurt living. We want to ready the property in the least complicated, most cost-effective ways so we can get out there and start helping other people enjoy it, too.

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