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Steps to Accessing Bore Water

There are a number of steps to go through if you wish to have a bore drilled in order to use underground water.

  1. First of all, be aware of the capital outlay/investment involved. Installing a bore is not a cheap exercise, however it adds value to a property by ensuring a sustainable supply of your own water which costs a lot less than town-water, allowing you to have that beautifull garden that everyone dreams of. The total cost of a bore and associated equipment varies a lot and can range from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on what area you are in and if the water requires any further treatment before it can be used.

  2. When choosing a driller, obtain a written quote and be sure of exactly what you are getting . Make sure there are no hidden costs like site clean-up, cementing or additional equipment hire. Your driller should also be able to give you an idea of the expected depth of the bore and what the water quality should be like, however no-one can know exactly what lies below the surface.
    Note: All of our bores are cased the entire way from top to bottom and prices include cementing, (waste removal and site clean-up on suburban blocks). We have come accross several bores that have only been cased down to the rock and then 'open holed' (two of these had to be re-cased and sealed due to dirty water and cross contamination of aquifers, at a cost of about $6,000 each).

  3. Decide on where you want the bore. Depending on the size of the drilling rig and drilling method, a fair bit of clear area around the site will be required. It is almost impossible to drill a bore in a flower bed in the corner of a property up against a fence unless the fence can be taken down for drilling (something that most neighbours are not too keen on!).

  4. Obtain a works permit from your local water authority (see Forms page). If the bore is solely for domestic use, a once-off fee is payable (currently $235 for an online application), but if it is to be used commercially, there is the initial license fee (varies according to volume of water required) and then ongoing yearly water extraction fees.

  5. Once the bore has been drilled, an estimated flow rate can be established by the driller who should also be able to give an estimate on the salinity of the bore water. A water sample can also be taken and sent for analysis, the cost of which is the responsibility of the bore owner.

  6. If the water is safe to use directly from the bore, a pump can be installed to suit your requirements. You need to know what your water useage will be when deciding what pump to have installed. There is no point installing a pump that will deliver 5,000 litres per hour when all your watering is done by hand with a single hose (using about 1,000LPH). On low yielding bores or where the water needs further processing, a storage tank and pressure pump may also need to be installed.