Your Guide to Borehole Drilling

Water is central to life, and the USA has abundant supplies of excellent potable water available via its community water systems. However, there are still around 15 million homes that rely on private wells for their water supply.

Photo by form PxHere

So, if you’re building a home outside your local community supply zone, you’ll find no shortage of good, clean water up for grabs right at your feet. 

Drilling a borehole’s the first step in securing your own fresh water supply from a well.

Ransome Telli, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you curious about how this all works? These are the ins and outs of borehole drilling.

What Is a Borehole?

A borehole is simply a vertical tunnel that reaches down into an underground source of water. Contractors install specialized equipment into this hole which then pumps the water out of the Earth and into your home.

Except in times of extreme drought, you can usually get abundant water out of your borehole so you’ve got plenty to spare for your garden, lawn, and even a swimming pool. 

How Do You Go About Sinking a Borehole?

Drilling a borehole’s not something you can achieve on a spare Sunday afternoon. It’s a complex and precise process that requires experience and specialized borehole drilling equipment. 

BHMI, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These are the steps involved:

Siting the Borehole

Hydro-geologists specialize in finding underground water sources. They assess the best way to get the water out of the ground and make a note of any underground obstructions that could affect this process. These include cables, phone lines, and pipelines.

Drilling and Construction

Next, a specialist contractor arrives with large borehole drilling equipment to burrow an opening to the water source.

As they drill, they used specialized drill tracking equipment, like a ditch witch sonde, to keep them on track. These apparatuses attach to the bore and use electronic signals to guide the operator along the correct path while avoiding obstacles.

Next, they put steel tubes in place to reinforce any weak areas of the borehole. 

JonathanM17, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pumping and Piping

Once the hole’s drilled, the contractor performs an aquifer test to determine the yield of the borehole. If this stage goes smoothly, they’ll install the necessary pipes and pumps necessary for your needs.

If the water source turns out disappointing, you’ll need to start the process over again in a more promising spot.

Do You Need a Borehole?

Nowadays, even suburban homeowners have latched onto the benefits of getting water from a borehole.

Blwood2003, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Usually, this water’s pristine and unpolluted and it’s also unchlorinated. This means it tastes pure and is often better for your health than municipal water.

Once you’ve paid the initial costs of drilling your borehole, you never need to pay for water use ever again either. 

Remember, borehole drilling isn’t something you can do on your own. You must work with a reputable, licensed contractor, who stays within the bounds of legislation and safety to complete this complex task. 

If your needs are a little more low-key, browse our blog for more inspiration and information on building or designing the perfect home.


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