Private water supply: domestic borehole case studies
A private borehole installation in Powys
Tony Goff from Churchstoke near Montgomery, Powys had no mains water and his cottage had been fed from a private spring. Though the spring had never dried up, he was nervous that at some time in the future he would be left without a water supply.
‘We wanted a reliable supply and we wanted better quality water from deeper down. The water from our shallow spring was often cloudy from the clay and not pleasant to drink.’
Work began with a hydrogeology report – or prognosis – which cost around £200. This survey gave an indication of the underlying geology, whether water was likely to be found and at what depth.
The hills around Tony’s home are, he says, ‘full of water’, so he was given a prognosis of 80 per cent. The very first borehole reached a supply at 19 metres, but the drilling team recommended going further down into the bedrock for an even better supply.
‘On-site work can last 10 to 15 days. Drilling typically takes three or four days, and then pipework and cables need to be installed,’ said Brian Morgan of water well drillers WB+AD Morgan, ‘the submersible pump is placed in the borehole and tested and, finally, water is sent to the laboratory to check its purity.’
‘It’s beautiful, clear mineral water,’ says Tony. ‘A good, reliable supply is absolutely essential and it really is an asset for the house – not least in case we wanted to sell.’
The Wilds and their ‘better and totally reliable’ domestic water supply
The Wilds were faced with an inconsistent water supply, with their private spring drying up over the summer months.
‘The water level had been up and down and the system had silted up,’ says Stanley. ‘Even when we had water, there wasn’t much of a head.’
The Wilds researched the alternatives and looked at the geology of their area on the National Geographic Society’s website. What they discovered, along with the fact that the neighbouring farm had a successful borehole supply, convinced them that a borehole was the answer.
‘We did consider a 900 gallon storage tank at the side of the spring, but we weren’t sure – given a dry summer – that this would guarantee us a supply.’
WB+AD Morgan carried out a geological survey of their land and found a spot, well away from their septic tanks. The drilling team went down to 40 metres and tapped into a supply equivalent to 4,000 gallons a day – more than enough for the Wilds.
‘It was a capital outlay we weren’t expecting, but when you consider we’re looking at 30 years of retirement here, it was essential. When we look back, it does seem a good thing that we ran out of water because now we have a better and totally reliable supply.’