You could get your own borehole – but it's easier said than done

By admin
17 September 2016

Constructing a borehole in your backyard is possible.

In the midst of the worst drought in living memory with no heavy rains predicted – should you consider getting your own borehole?

Dam levels are currently at their lowest in years. Water restrictions have been enforced in towns all over the country. In many places drinking water needs to be transported to communities which have been hit hardest. In the meantime weather experts say there is no guarantee that enough rain will fall in the coming rainy months.

This is the sad reality which many South Africans are facing while many fear that very soon there won’t be enough water in our reservoirs left for everyday use.

Is the solution that homeowners need to make provision of their household’s water by getting a borehole on their property? This is easier said than done because besides for the massive costs involved, not all properties are fit to accommodate a borehole.


It is especially city dwellers who struggle to get boreholes on their property. Accessibility to the property is one of the biggest problems, says Adél Labuschagne of Leon Labuschagne and sons borehole contractors in Gauteng.

“In rural towns there is usually enough space around the house. That is usually not the case in built up areas in cities. There is simply not space for a boring machine and all the equipment,” she explains.

The boring machine needs space of roughly 16m long and 3m wide. There must be space for a compressor, and moreover a truck with equipment such as a boring rods needs to have space to park in the street.

Adél explains how they’ve had clients who were so desperate to have a borehole that they were willing to break down walls and braai areas to make space for the boring machinery.


Dependent on the terrain, sinking the borehole can cost up to R250 per metre.

The depth that the hole needs to reach before water is found can vary from place to place but the average borehole is 60m deep. But in certain places it can reach as deep as 100m.

The top section of the borehole, where unstable rock formations are found, is drilled with a borehole drill.

A normal pump costs roughly R15 000, dependent on the depth of the hole and the amount of water that you want to be able to pump per hour.

Read more:

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