What is a borehole? Common borehole questions – answered


What is a borehole? 

A borehole is a narrow shaft bored in the ground. They are constructed to extract a private water supply for businesses and domestic properties. They range from 50 to 300 metres deep and provide a continuous supply of water from the ground.

Please note: We do not provide domestic borehole services. We work with businesses on commercial borehole water supplies

Can any business have a borehole?

Your business’s land needs to be on viable ground to have a borehole. Your proposed site is assessed by a free desk top study which tells us whether it will deliver the yield required. The study also helps us understand the possible quality of water by looking at the geology and hydrology of the area. There’s no need for a physical survey or investigation.

You don’t need planning permission for a borehole unless your business intends to extract more than 20,000 litres per day. If you will use more than this every day, you will need to apply for an abstraction licence from the Environment Agency. We can help with this or do it on your behalf.  

How is a borehole created?

Boreholes are created by a specialist drilling company. Initially, the company will look at the geology of an area to see whether it is viable to extract water. The borehole is drilled until we reach an underground aquifer that has a sustainable amount of water that can be easily treated.

The geology of an area differs from one part of the country to another. A borehole requires careful design considering each location, the geology, and the consumers requirement to provide a sustainable supply.

What needs to be done to the water safe for drinking? 

The first step is to carry out water analysis. There could be mineral deposits that need removing to meet drinking water standards. Analysing the water tells us what treatment should be put in place to ensure all contaminants are removed or reduced to safe levels.


What are the benefits of having a borehole? 

The benefit is savings from reduced water costs. For businesses using a high volume of water each day as part of processes, a borehole saves a significant amount. After the initial cost of setting up your borehole and water treatment system, your water supply is free.

Are there any pitfalls? borehole-drill-pipes

There will be an initial cost for drilling your borehole and monitoring the water supply for safety. You must ensure the borehole is drilled by a qualified company who drills to the correct depth and lines it with a suitable casing. Routine maintenance and testing of the water are carried out to check the borehole is working properly and to make sure the water quality hasn’t changed.

Is borehole water suitable for all businesses?

No, a borehole is only suitable for businesses who are in the right area. The ground must be of the right composition to be drilled, and there needs to be a good yield of water possible.

Because of the process involved in establishing, treating, and monitoring a borehole water supply, it’s only financially worthwhile for businesses using a high volume of water. Your current water costs must be significant enough that you recoup the initial investment costs in future savings.

Does anything make a borehole water supply unsuitable? 

In regions where mineral deposits can be high and very difficult to treat, we may drill to a greater depth to avoid this. But it’s not always possible and it depends on the geology of your site. If the customer wants a better quality of water that meets drinking water standards, we would put in additional water treatment to achieve this.

Water treatment is dependent on your specific supply and what your water is used for. To find out how to improve your business’s water purity, get a free site survey and water assessment.

We hope this has answered your questions about borehole water for businesses. For advice specific to your business, contact us today on 0113 232 0005 or sales@excelwater.co.uk.

The images in this article were supplied by: D Hughes Well Drillers Ltd