So you've decided to sink a borehole and what a great decision you've made! With the strict water regulations in South Africa lately, it's probably the best thing you can do.

But there's more to installing a borehole than just drilling a tunnel into the ground. There are some other decisions you'll have to make such as will you install a borehole pump and if yes, what type of pump do you need. Another thing to consider is if you'll install a filtration system and this solely depends on the purpose of your borehole.

Do you really need a borehole pump?

What type of pump do I need?

Installing a pump that is too small, can cause the pump to use additional energy to function which then affects water pressure. In addition to that, your pump will need to be replaced much sooner since it won't last as long.

What type of pump do I need?

Installing a pump that is too small, can cause the pump to use additional energy to function which then affects water pressure. In addition to that, your pump will need to be replaced much sooner since it won't last as long.

Some things to consider when selecting a borehole pump:

  • Purpose of borehole - will the water be used for irrigation, domestic usage or to fill up a reserve tank.
  • Flow rate - which means the amount of water to be moved and the pressure needed to get it there
  • Distance the water needs to travel - from under the ground to the top of the borehole, and from the borehole to your tap
  • Refill rate - the water level in your borehole will drop when pumping water and will refill when it rains

Do I need a filtration system?

Groundwater is, for the most part, clean and rich in minerals but sometimes a filtration system is needed to remove high levels of iron from drinking water. A quick test can be done at a water lab to measure the ph balance and iron content of your water and this will give you a good indication of whether you need to install a filter.

If you will only be using your borehole water for irrigation and other non-drinking purposes, a filtration system might not be necessary.

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A question we get asked frequently is “How much will a borehole cost?” Even though this might seem like an uncomplicated question to ask, the answer definitely isn’t. The answer is dependent on various factors.

The cost of a borehole is mostly dependent on its depth, the amount of casing used and the pump specifications. The variety of rock we have to drill through furthermore affects the cost, along with the ground conditions. Although many individuals assume the easiest drilling to be into soft and loose surfaces, the opposite holds true. Keeping the borehole open during the drilling process can be difficult especially if the hole is sinking in on itself as a result of the loose and unstable ground.

How much will a borehole cost?

The main costs you would incur would be from drilling, yield testing as well as equipment used. The Borehole Water Association of South Africa says the average drill cost is around 600 a meter, but this can be as much as R900 per meter depending on the company. Yield testing will set you back somewhere between R2,000 and R5, 000 while the equipment might cost between R20, 000 and R40, 000. The type of stone we have to drill into, the drilling technique plus the terrain conditions also affect the fee. Additional costs might also be required if, for instance, you have to hire a motorized hoist to elevate the hydraulic rig machine into your backyard.

So how will I save money with a borehole?

By tapping into borehole water, you essentially remove your dependency on municipal water. With rising water bills, borehole water is a much cheaper option than mains water, and even though you have the up-front expense of drilling the borehole along with mobilizing a borehole drilling company oftentimes, they may be repaid within a year.

Do I need to register my borehole?

Based on the National Water Act, you do not have to register ground water usage when it is used for household applications only. Borehole water may also be used for outdoor recreation like replenishing a swimming pool and household disasters like putting out a fire.

What if the driller doesn’t find water?

Your arrangement with the driller will be to drill a hole in the earth, with the potential for tapping into a self-sufficient water resource. If appropriate siting methods were adhered to and in the unlikely event the hole was discovered to be ‘dry’, you will be required to pay the service provider for the drilling. Nevertheless, you won't be liable to pay for any materials and equipment that would be used to complete an installation, namely the pump, piping and electrics.

In conclusion, a borehole is a sound investment. Even though the installation can cost anything from R60 000 to R90 000, having a borehole will add substantial value to your property or home, and eventually, it will represent a smart investment. Assuming that the installation was done by industry experts and with due care.

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Roelf Burger - Managing Director


Cell: 079 490 2314 | 072 792 8026
Email: info@enviroboreholes.co.za

Physical Address
Plot 11, Randfontein–South, Randfontein, Gauteng, 1759


Postal Address
P.O Box 2633, Kocksvlei, Randfontein, 1760

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