Water dilemma

  TopCat® 17:09 03 Jul 2009

Here in the south-west region we pay the highest prices for our water due to, in part and for the last ten years, the cost of cleaning up and modernising the sewerage stations and outfalls into the sea along 7,000 miles of coastline. Ninety-five percent of all this modernisation is now complete but our bills keep on rising year on year.

This has led to me considering having a borehole search done in order to be self sufficient in water. Our supply is already metered and we have several large water-butts in position but, with my large garden, numerous trees, bushes, flowerpots and a fair sized pond to maintain, I wondered if anyone had actually had a fairly recent borehole search done. And at what sort of cost it entailed for a satisfactory result, please.

Apparently, anyone can have a borehole sunk on their land without permissions; the only restriction being the daily amount of water that can be pumped out of the aquifer. This I believe is roughly about two tonnes of the stuff and, if the chemical constituent of the water is suitable and with proper filtration fitted, there's no reason why the supply can't be pumped around the house as well.

I'd really appreciate any helpful comments on this venture and I thank you for them in advance. TC.

  Bingalau 17:57 03 Jul 2009

I've no idea of the cost but have often wondered why it is not a common practice in this country. Nearly every house I saw in Western Australia was fitted out with a reticulation system, at least that is what I think they called it. I assume the rest of Australia had the same systems in place. Gardens were watered by sprinkler every evening after the sun had gone down, for an hour or so.

I would be interested if it is reasonably priced in this country.

  wiz-king 18:11 03 Jul 2009

Lots of firms advertising - the cost would vary with your location, if you click on the link on the info page you can look up your local bore hole and this would give you a clue as to the depth they had to drill.click here

  alB 18:12 03 Jul 2009

According to this site the cost of a "domestic" bore hole could be in the region of 1-5K, I presume that would also cover the cost of the survey click here ...alB

  jack 20:32 03 Jul 2009

'Nearly every house I saw in Western Australia was fitted out with a reticulation system, at least that is what I think they called it.'

They also have 'Dunni'buckets and a daily 'Dunni' collection
So I am told.


  Bingalau 22:02 03 Jul 2009

Jack, I think they have moved on a bit since you were last there obviously. Hot and cold running water everywhere, but they were not allowed to use that water from the mains on their gardens, so they have bore holed drilled and use the water from way down there for gardens and car washing etc. Every house fitted with solar heating panels and much more modern than us in this country. Mind you I suppose it is still dunny buckets and snakes out in the "sticks"

  Arthur Scrimshaw 22:06 03 Jul 2009

seminar on water conservation and was told we could abstract 20 cubic metres of water a day from a borehole without needing a licence. there are water maps available showing likely ground sources of water.

  WhiteTruckMan 22:28 03 Jul 2009

in one of the numerous water shortages in recent years, a hosepipe ban being in force. In the news at the time was a carwash still opeerating despite the ban, and being ordered to cease operations. This was notable because they were operating from a private borehole and the water was not fit for human consumption. Nevertheless water authorities apparently had ultimate say over the usage of even private water sources. I think it was legislative powers, but I cannot be certain and dont have the time to research it.

So even with your own borehole/well, you will not be totally independant. Come a hosepipe ban, you will be affected as well.


  Woolwell 22:55 03 Jul 2009

You had me interested - quick Google search turned up
click here

and a few others.

  laurie53 09:57 04 Jul 2009

While it might no longer be the case, I'm sure I remember reports of people having to pay water charges even though they use a well, because the water company owns all the underground water.

  TopCat® 11:30 04 Jul 2009

....'The benefits of having your own independent water supply are numerous: you can water your garden safe in the knowledge that you're not paying a national water supplier and risk increasing hosepipe bans....' And it goes on to say that 20,000 litres can be extracted daily before a licence or charge is required - more than I thought!

In my case, I don't think they would have to drill too deep to find water. We live near the base of a developed residential hillside and during heavy rainy periods water would actually rise up under my boundary wall and the garden itself. It would then flow out alongside the garage and down my drive to the street. Cured this by trenching and laying in land drainage connected to a storm drain. As this had been happening for some years, the wall foundations became dangerous and half of it had to be taken down and rebuilt!

Access into the garden would mean dismantling the drilling rig as mentioned in Woolwell's link, or taking down part of the older section of the boundary wall. Anyway, I'll be making further inquiries in due course, as I think it will be well worth it in the long run. Many thanks for your responses. TC.

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