Frequently Asked Questions about our Borehole Drilling Services

Whether you’re a home-owner, farmer or industrial business having your own borehole drilled is a big job. It’s one that requires a lot of research, plenty of consideration and you have to be absolutely sure of what you’re getting and how it will benefit you.

With that in mind here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our borehole drilling services we get asked by customers on a daily basis.

There are several factors which can affect the cost of a borehole installation this includes: underlying hydrogeology, amount of water required, location, the type of pump required. We are able to provide, free no obligation quotations, simply call us on 01765 640 646 or fill out our contact form.

You can also take a look at our borehole costs study .PDF which compares a borehole installation vs. mains water bills here.

How long a borehole takes to drill depends on the depth of the borehole and the type of matter under the surface the Engineer expects to find.

As an example a 150mm borehole drilled to a depth of 60 metres will take around 3 to 5 days and about the same again to install the pumping infrastructure and construct the borehole headworks.

The Dales Water team have specialist knowledge of geology up and down the UK so we are able to produce accurate geological surveys as part of our borehole drilling process to give you a firm idea of the materials under the surface we are likely to encounter.

As long as there is sufficient space on your site or property to construct the borehole you can just about put a borehole anywhere.

There are 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.

As part of our no obligation specification and quotation we will visit site to assist you in determining if there is sufficient space for the borehole and the best location to construct it.

During pumping a borehole pump produces a ‘cone of depression’. This is the influence zone of where water is being abstracted. Where possible any new borehole should be outside this zone to ensure that one borehole does not affect another.

We recommend that anyone who wishes to site a borehole close to another speaks to us to gain the specialist knowledge they need to make sure the new borehole does not affect the old borehole.

Where possible boreholes should always be a minimum of 50m away from any potential source of contamination such as septic tanks, this is in accordance with Environment Agency guidelines.

On some sites this just isn’t possible but as long as the septic tank or other source of contamination is modern and well maintained and the borehole has been constructed properly with sufficient casing then it should be ok.

This depends on the scale of the submersible pump installed but typically a small pump for normal use, e.g. less than 20m3/day abstraction will be very cheap to run.

Usually borehole water is perfectly safe to drink. However we always recommend carrying out a water testing procedure to fully understand the contents of the water.

There is also legislation in the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009, making it a requirement to ensure that your water supply is consistent with drinking water standards

In cases where the water is inconsistent with the proposed use be it for drinking, or commercial uses we are able to provide water analysis and water treatment services.

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 60m and 80m but this can be less as well as significantly more. The depth of a borehole very much depends on where you are in UK and the underlying geology.

We get many enquiries from customers asking “how do i make borehole water safe to drink?”, “what is the easiest way to purify borehole water?” or “how do I remove iron from the borehole water well in my garden? This can’t be done with guess work.

The first step is to get your water tested; we work closely with a several leading testing laboratories 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 your given use then you may need to install water treatment.

Filtering borehole water should only be carried out by a company experienced in implementing suitable filtration and UV water treatment systems to correct the water.

Once the right method of borehole filtration has been identified it should be fitted to the required client specification or human potable water standards.

Artesian water is water that comes out of the ground under its own pressure. No pumping systems are required. This is to do with impermeable rocks and pressure; you can read more about it in our what is an artesian well blog post.

In the UK all the water that falls is technically owned by the government. Doing this allows government to retain control over water and it means that no one can dam a river, harvest the water and cause a user downstream to have no water.

However since 2005 water abstractions have been significantly deregulated meaning anyone who owns land in the UK is entitled to extract water from a borehole their own use, without any license .as long as it’s under 20m3/day, if its more than this an abstraction licence wil be required.

In some cases water may be extracted from the ground under its own pressure. This is known as an artesian well.

However in many cases a submersible pump is required to bring water to the surface. Which pump is required depends on various factors, such as the quantities of water required, the desired pressure and its intended use.

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

A well-constructed borehole can last many generations. We regularly encounter boreholes from the 1950’s, 60′s and 70′s that are still in fully working order and were drilled by us or people known to us.

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.

You can extract up to 20,000 litres (4400 gallons, 20 cubic meters) per day of ground water for domestic or commercial usage without any permission, an abstraction license or additional fees.

Many boreholes have been known to pay for themselves in a year.

In many cases yes, the old borehole will need to be assessed and if it is still producing water than it can be brought back into commission. It may require maintenance works and a cleaning process to re-develop the borehole yield.

We have personally fitted and worked on boreholes dating back decades that are still fully operational and are aware of boreholes that were drilled pre World War II that still functioning to this very day.

Then are many parts to a borehole such as the headworks, the pump, the casing. If you want to see what it looks like down a borehole checkout our CCTV video here. Below is a picture of a headworks:


The width of a borehole depends on the volumes of water required. For example if you are wanting to draw large volumes of water for heavy commercial use then a wider borehole would be drilled to allow for a larger borehole pump.
By tapping into borehole water you essentially remove your dependency on mains water. Borehole water is much cheaper than mains water (with bills continually rising) and although there is the up-front cost of drilling the borehole and mobilising a borehole drilling team in many cases they can be paid back within a year.

Most properties can benefit from groundwater but as this is Mother Nature there is no guarantee.

However carrying out a borehole prognosis survey can provide a very reliable indication of location and depth and whether or not water will be encountered.

We recommend speaking to a company like ourselves wo know the UK geology very well.

Boreholes are extremely reliable; in fact many of our commercial and agricultural jobs are carried out due to the reliability boreholes are known to provide.

One of the mains issue farmers and industries have is variable water pressure from mains water supplies. A borehole solves these problems. Likewise they are sustainable during drought periods meaning that even when mains water supplies are being throttled back borehole water supplies can keep on going.