Boreholes. Are they really worth it?
With the water crisis and water shedding hitting the nation, urban dwellers need to consider what options they have if we experience a Level 3 water crisis. Groundwater use such as the use of boreholes has been suggested by Johannesburg Water. Is this a viable option for an urban environment?
First of all, what is a borehole? A borehole is a deep, narrow hole drilled into the ground in the effort to find underground water or oil. There are professional companies which can drill boreholes for you.
What procedure will they follow?
- Do a geological survey done to find a source of water in your yard or plot.
- Get permission from authorities. Go to dwa.gov.za for more information.
- The drilling will start, which can take weeks, depending on how deep the hole is.
- The pipes will be sunk in and a filtration system will be added.
- Electrical pumps, control unit and valves will be set up at the surface.
- Debris will be removed from the borehole.
- Purity of water will tested and then it will be ready for use.
Estimated Cost: It varies, depending on the underground geology of your property and the machinery used. You can expect to spend up to R50 000… We did say it was a long-term plan. This is only worth it if you have a standalone large yard or plot and don’t plan to move any time soon. Remember, the cheaper the quote, the poorer the quality of service you will get.
The Upside? You’ll save in water costs because you won’t have to rely on the government to supply your water needs, plus it’s a life-long investment.
Since it is a pricey investment, make sure you choose a suitable contractor to get the job done properly. Here’s a handy checklist to help you out.
Drilling Contractor Checklist:
- Make sure you sign a contract stipulating exactly how much you will have to pay for everything.
- The contractor’s drill rods must be straight. Bent drill rods can cause serious problems with pipe installations.
- Ask them about their previous projects as well as recommendations from satisfied clients.
- If he doesn’t know what borehole development is, find a new contractor.
Factors to keep in mind:
The contractor cannot guarantee that he will find water in your area so find out if your area is a high water table area, like Midrand. You may need to get permission to sink a borehole into your yard or plot. Make sure it is safe and that there aren’t any electric cables, sewerage or water pipes where you want to drill.
Image sources: Wiki Media Commons