Dams are at all-time lows; municipal water costs are rising and people are getting angry. There has never been a better time to examine alternative water sources than right now. Drilling a borehole and becoming self-sustainable might be an option worth considering.

Here's what you need to know about the process of drilling boreholes:

#1 Borehole siting

Determining where the water is and how to reach it, is the first step when it comes to drilling boreholes. It is crucial to employ professionals for this task to avoid drilling into natural hazards or pipelines and cables.

#2 Drilling and Construction

The next step is to commence with the drilling. Special machinery is used to drill deep into the earth's surface. While the depth of an average borehole ranges between 60m - 80m, it can vary greatly from one borehole to another. Construction comes next in the form of steel casing to reinforce the borehole.

#3 Yield testing

Yield testing is done to determine the balance between the greatest amount of water that can be yielded from the borehole and the amount of water that flows back from the neighbouring groundwater source. In order to do yield testing, an aquifer test is carried out. A test pump is installed and water is pumped for a fixed time and set of variables to access the water level in the borehole.

#4 Pump and filter installation

Once the yield testing is done, you'll be advised on the pump you need. The type of pump system will depend largely on your intended use of your new borehole. If your domestic borehole will be used for drinking water, you'll need a filtration system to get rid of contaminants from your water supply.

If you are interested in drilling a borehole on your property, get in touch with one of the experts at Enviro Boreholes. With over 10-year experience in the industry, you can be sure to receive professional and advice and great service.

  • 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
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More and more people wish to become more self-reliant and energy efficient to protect the environment and save money. With energy and water costs skyrocketing in recent years, it's not difficult to see why. Another reason why people might choose to install a borehole is the fact that South Africa is struggling through one of the worst droughts in centuries. And with water restrictions happening all over, now is the best time to drill that borehole.

But before you hire a borehole drilling company, there are some questions you should ask.

How experienced are they?

When hiring a borehole drilling company, the worst thing you can do is hire the first one that comes along or hire them based on price. Borehole drilling is serious business, and if not done right, you'll waste plenty of money. Make sure you use someone reliable, with ample experience that will provide you with references.

Where will your borehole be installed?

The chances are that if you live on a farm, there won't be a problem finding space for your borehole but in urban settings pipelines, electrical cables, telephone cables and structures can interfere with the placement. Sometimes, boreholes are installed in your driveway which will mean that you'll incur additional costs to lift and replace brickwork.

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

Can they test your water to make sure it's safe for drinking?

Any trustworthy borehole drilling company will be able to test your water to see if it is free of contaminants. If a filtration system is required, they will be able to install it.

What will it cost?

Drilling a borehole is no cheap endeavour but the benefits involved far exceeds the costs. Ask your borehole drilling company for a full breakdown of the costs involved as well as maintenance expenses to avoid any confusion. Make sure there aren't any hidden costs

What if they don't find water?

If all siting procedures were followed correctly and no water was found, you'll still be liable to pay for the drilling costs. You won't, however, need to pay for the materials such as the pump, filtration system etc., since you won't be requiring them.

If you want to use one of the best borehole companies in the industry, get in touch with Enviro Boreholes today!

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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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Friday, 26 January 2018 09:22

Borehole Yield Testing 101: How It Works

Would you like your borehole to continue providing water for a long time? Are you interested in a sustainable yield? Then a borehole yield test is mandatory.

A yield test consists of an evaluation to determine the balance between the highest volume of water which can be pumped from the borehole as well as the amount of water that flows back from nearby underground water sources.

After testing, we will present a certificate on which the date, level of the test pump installation, fixed water level, pumping rate and water colour is documented.

How do we test?

Test pumping involves pumping a borehole at a selected rate and logging the volume in the pumping well, in addition to your local observation wells at particular periods of time. Anytime these specifications are replaced in suitable flow equations; specific hydraulic variables can be determined. These guidelines, in addition to a qualitative review of discharge-drawdown elements, will be used for the analysis of a suggested yield of the boreholes and or aquifers.

It is normal to carry out a six-hour test which after a pump is installed with the potential of approximately 40-50% of water flow after the test. This 40-50% safety perimeter is enough in many instances, however, not always. We will discuss with the end user to identify what their requirements are and which type of test will be perfect their needs.

Boreholes that will be used every day and should be able to supply an efficient water supply every day, such as mass water supply for the public, commercial or irrigation, will require more advanced and lengthier water yield tests which can be more expensive. Despite this, the extra initial cost can save lots of money in the long run. Unless necessary, never pump the borehole at its full capacity.

How long does yield testing take?

During the step test, the pump rate is raised in steps at frequent periods. This particular test is especially beneficial to establish the effectiveness of the borehole, although not valuable in creating the long-term sustainable supply of a borehole.

In the Constant Rate Test (CTR), the well is pumped at a consistent discharge rate over the course of 8 - 48 hours. The release is kept steady throughout the test, and water levels are documented in the pumping boreholes together with monitoring boreholes. The time-drawdown information extracted from the CRT will then be examined. The analysis offers helpful feedback to judge the maintainable output of individual boreholes plus the perspective of aquifers.

Right after the CRT, once the pump is turned off, recovering water levels are calculated in the pumping borehole. This recovery test is incredibly valuable in researching the pumping result and possible dewatering of the aquifers which could result because of the confined scope of an aquifer. Additionally, the recovery test will reveal the volume to which the aquifer is in fact dewatered by determining the rest of the drawdown as soon as the borehole is ready to recover.

Water is a precious resource that should not be abused.

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Whether you are drilling a new borehole or rehabilitating an old one, it is crucial to use the expertise of a skilled water surveyor. Over time many old wells collapse and are not any longer viable. You can risk losing all your gear should you install the pump before doing a proper evaluation of the borehole.

Additionally, it is vital that you perform a yield test to determine the amount of water in your well. As a result, it's possible to make the appropriate pump choice for your borehole.

Why is it important to do yield testing?

  • To determine borehole potential - To calculate the sustainable yield and hydraulic functionality of boreholes for water supplies.
  • To identify aquifer potential - To assess the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer to discover the groundwater sources.

The water yield may differ based on the season, the number of new boreholes nearby, the variations in the annual rainfall as well as adverse environmental effects of high transpiration resulting from the planting of large quantities of trees. It is because of this that broad safety guidelines are permitted with the installation of the suitable pumping system. An incorrect pump measurements can harm the borehole and make it unviable. Utilising the proper equipment in your borehole process will guarantee the robustness of your water resource.

A significant element of a borehole yield test is keeping track of the water quality when pumped from the borehole. A water sample is usually taken at the start of the test as well as at the end of the test for a full chemical breakdown, while the electrical conductivity and temperature are typically observed with the water level throughout the test. The water quality is also imperative to see whether it is ideal for household, irrigation or commercial applications. Following South African Standards the highest allowable nitrate content is 10mg/l. An excessive amount nitrate has a significant effect on babies under six months.

How long does yield testing take?

The duration of the test is directly linked to the duty period that the borehole will be pumped at, as soon as the long term pump has been fitted. For example, a borehole delivering domestic water to a residence will have a faster duty period than a sprinkler system borehole. Consequently, the type and process of the test pumping carried out on a household borehole will likely be quicker compared to test for an irrigation borehole.

Other Things to remember.

  • An estimate of the water yield by the driller is not adequate and could be incorrect.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a borehole that generates a good amount of water, never pump more than you'll need.
  • Groundwater is a highly valuable resource and should not be wasted.

More often than not the continual over pumping of a borehole can result in the eventual total malfunction of the borehole, causing demand to have the borehole re-drilled. This can be a lot.

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Many people find an old, non-functioning borehole on their property when moving to a new home and they never know just how lucky they are until faced with drought and water restrictions. The current water situation in South Africa is bleak and getting even worse, especially in Cape Town. With rainy season still a few months away, people are urged to do all they possibly can to save the little water they have at their disposal.

Installing a borehole is classified as a long-term investment and therefore not exactly cheap. Thus, when you are granted with a borehole, even if not in a working condition, you can thank your lucky stars. You are halfway there to having a free water source. The old borehole will have to be assessed to see if it still produces water. After which it would need to be properly cleaned and repaired to develop the borehole yield.

All spring and the majority bottled water come from the ground, even though both spring and bottled water resources pump water from boreholes. 64% of South Africans live on groundwater. If you intend to drink from this water source, it is always advisable to have it evaluated at a water lab to make 100% satisfied that it is fit for ingestion. That is to make sure that the water you consume would cause no threat to your health.

Find a professional to do borehole repairs

It is vital to not try and repair the borehole yourself and risk the water of becoming contaminated. Instead, hire a professional borehole contractor such as Enviro Boreholes to do the borehole repairs for you.

Enviro Boreholes is a leading borehole contractor in their industry with more than 1000 borehole installations under their belt and over 10 years’ experience. Their staff is highly trained and well informed and it comes to no surprise that their service is world class. They take pride in their nearly 100% customer satisfaction.

Offering services such as borehole siting, borehole drilling, yield testing, pump installations and quality testing, they know the business inside out and your borehole repairs will be no challenge to them whatsoever.

If you are one of the lucky ones to have a borehole on your property, why not get in touch with Enviro Boreholes for borehole repairs. Nothing beats having your own water source and never having to pay for water ever again!

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Every living thing needs water. There's no way we'll be able to survive without water, and while some of the provinces in South Africa has more water than others, there has never been a better time to become more self-sufficient and install a borehole on your property.
But before you do, there are some things you should know about drilling boreholes.

What can I use borehole water for?

Borehole water can be used for irrigation and domestic use. If you've tested your water and decide to make use of a filter, water can also be used to drink and cook with.

Do I have to register my borehole?

If you'll only be using your water source for domestic purposes, there's no need to register it. In case of use for commercial and agricultural purposes, you would have to register your borehole.

How much does a borehole installation cost?

There are many things to consider with regards to the cost of drilling a borehole such as the depth, filtration and pump and the amount of casing used but a rough estimate would be anything from R60 000 to R90 000.

Where will they install my borehole?

It all depends on the size of your property. And in most cases properties in South Africa are enclosed with walls, making it difficult to even get a rig onto the property. A thorough inspection is done by Enviro Boreholes before quotation stage to provide you with all the information.

What's the lifespan of a borehole?

If you do regular maintenance, you can expect to get 20-30 years out of the major components of your borehole.

Is drilling a borehole a good investment?

While there are costs involved in drilling a borehole, once you're up and running you'll have a secure water source and won't have to tap into municipal water ever again. The average borehole can yield up to 20 000 litres of water per day.

If you need additional information from the experts, why not get in contact with one of the team members at Enviro Boreholes. They have more than ten years experience in drilling boreholes and know everything there is to know about the process. Give them a call today.

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A complete private water supply installation consists of several elements such as submersible pumps, headworks, management systems and in many cases, water storage tanks.

Water storage tanks are frequently used if the borehole supply doesn't produce sufficient water when needed, or the borehole needs an opportunity to get caught up following a significant period of use. This is in particular ideal for golf courses and holiday resorts that have substantial water demands at set times during the day.

What are the advantages of a Water Storage Tank?

It is advised that the use of water storage tanks where your need for water is most likely higher than the borehole yield and, as well as for drought protection.

Additionally, they turn out to be incredibly useful for commercial usage or farmers that depend greatly on water and have no access to a mains supply which means that if their submersible pump malfunction; they could be without water instantly, having huge implications for the business.

A water storage tank is used to hold water in reserve suggesting that a farmer or company could continue to use their water even if the pump is out of action. This will afford them time to discover the problem and get it fixed.

Along with buying a company time if they come across difficulties, a tank also minimises stress on the borehole by not having it functioning continuously, giving the user more control over their personal water supply.

Warning lights and sensors can also be installed on the storage tanks helping the user make sure that any potential issues are handled before they are out of the water.

Water Storage Tank Essential Factors

The considerations needed when installing water storage tanks will be based on the designated utilisation of the water - whether it is for drinking, agricultural or commercial the requirements can vary.

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.

1. Never service your own borehole

Usually it is advisable to:

  • Ensure the water tank is not too big, so the water in the tank is often refilled with fresh water.
  • Confirm that the container is constructed of approved materials and make sure it is the correct colour for its intended use.
  • Make sure it's fitted with a lid which limits light, is tight fitting and properly fastened, so that birds, pests, and dust can't enter the water.
  • Have the tank annually checked and any debris cleaned out, and the tank sanitised regularly.
  • Guard the tanks against frost

Water storage tanks can be built in segments for construction in confined spaces and are available in various shapes, sizes, materials. Additionally, it is possible to install them underground for those situations where an above-ground water storage tank isn't possible.
If you have any questions about water storage tanks and their installation or applications, get in contact with Enviro Boreholes for more info.

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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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It is evident that more and more people are considering boreholes as an alternative water resource. And whether your reason is financially motivated or to become more self-sufficient, having a borehole installed on your property comes with many benefits. In order to get the job done the right way the first time around, there are some things you'll need to do before investing your hard earned cash into a borehole.

1. Do your homework

Find out everything you need to know about borehole installation. Borehole installations aren't just about drilling a hole in the ground and having access to pure water. First, a borehole sighting will need to be done . Then a hole will be drilled approximately 60-80 meters and a casing will be placed to secure the hole. A yield test needs to be done to determine the type of pump you'll need. Finally, a filtration system is installed if you choose to use the water for drinking purposes.

2. Ask for referrals

Ask friends, family and neighbours for referrals. Finding a reliable borehole contractor might prove to be challenging since there are many fly-by-nights in the industry. Borehole installations come at a premium and the last thing you want to do is spend money on something that's not working as promised.

3. Hire professionals

Once you've lined up a few possible contractors, get quotes and ask the right questions. Never make a decision based on price alone. Make sure the contractor has plenty experience in borehole installations with positive feedback from satisfied customers.

Why you should hire Enviro Boreholes

Enviro Boreholes is a borehole installation company with more than 10 years’ experience in the borehole drilling industry. They take pride in being a preferred contractor in South Africa because of their excellent service. If you are considering a borehole installation on your property, get in touch with the team at Enviro Boreholes for an obligation free quote.

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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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