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Borehole – An Alternative Water Supply

South Africa has been classified as a water stressed country and Gauteng and the City of Johannesburg are not exceptions of this predicament. It is against this backdrop that one of the pillars of our Water Conservation Demand Management is “Improving the Water Mix”, which involves the increased use of a variety of water sources in addition to our current reliance on surface water. These include:

• Groundwater;
• Water harvesting and
• Water-recycling

The average rainfall in South Africa is 492 millimetres as compared to 985 millimetres received on average in most countries around the world.

As part of the City’s sustainable mandate, Johannesburg Water has looked at innovative ways to curb the water demand throughout the City through the introduction of alternative water supplies. One such alternative is Boreholes.

Today, there are more reasons than ever for drilling a water borehole, it is an excellent way to access pure and natural underground water. Although initial costs of drilling and installing pipes and pumps may be high there are many long-term benefits in getting your water straight from the ground.

The average depth at which water is struck in Johannesburg is 65 metres, but this varies in different parts of the city. Water depth and rock formations determine the ultimate costs of drilling the borehole.

A quality borehole that is well-maintained is an asset that can last for up to 15 years. It also increases significantly the value of the property. There are very little ongoing costs associated with the borehole – provided it is sunk well and properly maintained.

Benefits of drilling a water borehole

  • Saves cost– borehole water costs less than the average of municipal water;
  • Perfect pressure– a borehole can achieve the water pressure for its purpose;
  • Avoid price hikes– with a borehole system you will not be affected by future increases in water prices;
  • Improved quality– water derived from a borehole is often of high quality;
  • Locally sourced– it comes from underneath your property and no energy is wasted on transportation;
  • Saves water – with Borehole water you will be able to save directly because you are going to source pure water from your land rather than from your normal tap;

Where to start?

  • Determine if there are other boreholes in your area. This will give you a good indication whether there is adequate ground water available and at what depths;
  • Use a professional and registered borehole company that offers a complete service and ask for at least two references, especially clients who their borehole for a couple of years as it would provide proof of workmanship and after sales service;
  • Acquaint yourself with the municipal by-laws and regulations and take environmental factors into consideration;
  • Check that there are no water or sewerage pipes or electric cables under the ground where the drilling will take place;
  • Ensure the borehole conforms to safety regulations and do maintenance on a regular basis;
  • Remember whether there is water or not , the client carries the cost, so be prepared for any scenario.

For any questions, enquiry or advice on your borehole, please contact the Borehole Association of Southern Africa

PO Box 1155

Tel: +27 11 447 0853
Fax: +27 11 447 0851
Email: info@bwa.co.za
Website: bwa.co.za