Borehole Drilling

Frequently Asked Questions

A borehole is the term for any shaft bored in the ground. A borehole may be constructed for many different purposes, including the extraction of water or other liquid or gas, but most references to a borehole are for the purposes of extracting “potable” water from the ground (water fit for human consumption).

Firstly, the cost-saving in having your own borehole! Clean water, no supply problems, no harmful chemicals and when coupled with solar, extremely cheap to run.

If you cannot connect to mains water, then a borehole is the ideal way to connect your home to a stable and clean water source!

Water from your own borehole is not treated with chemicals. So, there is no added fluoride or chlorine.

In fact, most of the bottled water available from the shops comes from boreholes.
Many water bottling companies use drilled boreholes for their water.

There are several factors which can affect the cost of a borehole installation. These include underlying hydrogeology, amount of water required, location, the type of pump required, depth of the borehole, distances from the nearest power supply and the distance and head to the final destination of the water.

However, a budget figure for the siting, drilling and testing of a borehole prior to any equipment installation will have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as there are so many variables to consider because it is not possible to predict what is needed for each individual borehole.

Contact us should you require an obligation free quotation for your particular requirements.

The length of time required to drill a borehole depends on the required depth of the borehole as well as the underlying geology of the site.

A general guideline is 1 to 2 days for the completion of the drilling process.

As long as there is sufficient space on your site or property and sufficient access for the drill rig, you can just about drill anywhere. Naturally, the site/s will be influenced by the geohydrologist siting prior to drilling.

There are also practical decisions to be made in connection with this, e.g., where do you want the water, where can the above ground pumping infrastructure be housed, where is power available, are there any potential sources of contamination of the borehole etc?

Yes! In drilling a borehole, material removed has to find its way to the surface. In most situations, we initially drill ‘dry’, and this produces dust, but we try to contain this by injecting water to the compressed air to minimise the dust. When water is found, slurry emerges from the hole. Whilst drilling, the crew do try to minimise the inconvenience that is caused by communicating with the client regarding the potential problems. Depending on the depth of the borehole, normally 2/3 cubes of dirt will be extracted from the ground.

No not really. Depending on the scale of the submersible pump installed, typically a small pump for normal use, e.g., less than 10 000 L /day abstraction will be very cheap to run, but a solar pump could be fitted reducing the cost to almost R0.

Usually, borehole water is perfectly safe to drink. However, we always recommend carrying out a water quality analysis prior to use of the water to fully understand the contents of the water – Suitable filtration can be installed pending the results of the analysis.

There is no set answer for how deep a borehole needs to be. Put simply, the borehole should be as deep as is required to reach the aquifer (water bearing rock).

The average depth of a borehole is between 80m and 120m, but this can be less as well as significantly more. The depth of a borehole will vary depending on the region in South Africa that it is being drilled and the underlying geology.

There is always an inherent risk and in managing this risk, the cornerstone is always to obtain as much information as possible prior to committing to a drilling programme, hence why we always recommend that a suitable borehole siting be obtained. Whilst this is not a guarantee of success, it can highlight risk at an early stage and allow an informed decision to be made, and mitigate the risk.

For commercial requirements where very high volumes are required, it may be necessary to drill a test borehole to assess performance. The rate at which water can be abstracted is governed by the subterranean aquifer system (an ‘aquifer’ is a deposit of rock containing water that can supply wells).

There is always an element of risk that there is no water to be found, and this needs to be understood and managed.

The first step is to get your water analysis done. We work closely with a leading laboratory that can check your water for substances such as iron, manganese, calcium and other minerals and contaminants like bacteria, etc.

If your water has failed quality tests for the required usage, we will specify a filtration system that will be suitable to remedy this problem.

In most cases a submersible pump is required to bring water to the surface. The size and specifications of the pump required depends on various factors, such as the quantities of water required, the depth of the borehole, desired pressure and its intended use.

To get the most from your borehole, a pumping system should be specifically and carefully designed to suit the client’s exact requirements.

A well-constructed borehole can last many years. Modern technology has also meant that newly constructed boreholes can last even longer due to advancements in borehole lining material and drilling techniques to prevent the borehole from collapsing.

Correct utilization will also enhance the lifespan of the borehole, whilst poor management will significantly lower the lifespan.

By tapping into borehole water, you essentially remove your dependency on mains water. Borehole water is much cheaper than mains water especially when connected to a renewable power source (e.g., solar or wind generator) and although there is the up-front cost of drilling the borehole, the long-term investment will be beneficial and your property value increases. 

Savings can also be felt from a health perspective, in that the quality of water produced from a borehole in many cases is significantly healthier for you than the mains supply with far less chemical intervention.