The Well Drillers Association consists of companies and individuals engaged in well construction, test pumping, maintenance and rehabilitation.
The Association acts as a forum for members to discuss the industry, technical specifications, contract problems, training and the potential impact of legislation on the industry. It also maintains close contacts with the Environmental Agency (EA), the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the various Water Authorities and Water Companies.
If you find a borehole/well on your site that is clearly not in use, then it could be considered a liability and should be abandoned following guidelines. A disused borehole/well could be a danger because of:
- Safety, a person or animal could fall into the well/borehole.
- Confined spaces are dangerous due to the possibility of the gas emissions.
- Contamination of the aquifer from the surface
- Ground stability
We recommend that a WDA member be approached to advise how this should be undertaken as there are specific guidelines from regulatory bodies:
The EA booklet “Decommissioning Redundant Boreholes and Wells” gives guidance on the abandonment of boreholes.
SEPA has a similar document and the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (CAR) General Binding Rules 3 & 4, set conditions for backfilling and sealing
Yes – however there are specific requirements. Current water supply regulations require that protection must be provided against backflow into a mains water system.
This can be achieved by:
- a total permanent disconnection from the mains water supply, or
- a complete separation of the mains from the borehole supply with no means of interconnection and with both supplies being clearly labelled, or
- an air gap system complying with Section 6 of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.
It depends on what you intend to use the water for.
On completion of your borehole construction, a water sample will be tested in an accredited laboratory. Your borehole engineer will organise this and will advise you on any treatment that may be needed.
This can either be obtained by you (the Client) direct from the BGS at Wallingford, Oxfordshire or by the well drilling contractor from the BGS or other sources.
BGS will require a site map and the National Grid Reference of the site taken off an Ordnance Survey map or the full site address and post code, plus details of the amount of water required and the intended use. The cost of a BGS report is in the region £450-£600 + VAT, depending on who you instruct.
For further information on BGS reports
contact http://shop.bgs.ac.uk/GeoReports/ or email@example.com.
Your borehole engineer will advise you on how much space he needs for his equipment, As a rough guide this may range between 15 x 15mtr or 6 x 6mtr depending on the equipment to be used.
The WDA Guidance Notes for the Construction of Boreholes for Water Supply contains information about what is required when constructing a borehole.
Any drilling company should produce a written quotation, (estimate or fixed) and should be accompanied by terms and conditions. It is advisable to read these thoroughly.
Water well construction is not straightforward, so it is advisable to use a reputable driller one who is happy for you to speak with other customers and one that is prepared to take the time to explain and document the process of the proposed construction.
Ongoing costs such as annual maintenance and who is responsible for this might also be
This varies depending on several factors, so it is impossible to give a ballpark figure.
The cost of a borehole is dependent on the geological sequence, the nature of the water bearing stratum or aquifer and the depth to standing water in the borehole.
It is also dependent on the yield required and the access to the borehole location. Some boreholes require a well screen and a gravel pack to restrict the amount of fine materials pumped through the borehole. Individual members should be approached initially for a guide price and then for a written estimate, which should include all costs.
The WDA web site contains Guidance Notes for the Construction of Boreholes for Water Supply, which provides guidance for well drillers and clients on good practice. This document covers contractual arrangements, technical considerations, related specifications and water resources legislation.
The Guidance Notes are not currently binding on WDA members due to the varied nature of site and geological conditions but they are expected to follow them wherever possible.
All applicants must have a proven record of experience in well drilling and pump installation over a number of years and be sponsored by an existing WDA Member. The application form sets out the criteria for election.
After successfully completing the application form, which is circulated to existing members, the application is discussed and voted on at the next quarterly meeting, together with any member’s responses and the Secretary’s report on the applicant. If all members approve then the proposed member is invited to the next meeting to present to the group, thereafter a full audit is carried out and approval of membership is normally granted at this stage.
This is dependent on your water usage. A domestic property with 3 people living in it will not use as much as a dairy farm. Some farmers have reported recouping their installation costs within a year. Some mains connections can be very costly requiring large amounts of pipework.
Cost is not the only issue. A borehole can supply a constant quality of high pressure water.