Maintaining your Borehole

Borehole and pump maintenance is important to adhere to in order to realise the best returns on your investment. Quality constructed private water supply systems require routine maintenance. These simple steps help to protect your system and water source, as well as your investment.

Always use a registered BWA contractor when investing in borehole drilling, when a pump is installed, or when having a spring house or cistern installed. Request a copy of the company’s registration and insurance before construction gets underway, and rest assured that a legitimate drilling company will happily provide you with copies of these documents.

Keep any hazardous chemicals, such as paint, solvents, pesticides, fertiliser and herbicides, etc., well clear from the borehole. Check the well cover and well cap periodically to ensure that it is in good repair, and take care in working or mowing around the well. Damaging the casing could jeopardise the sanitary protection of the well.

Properties with Septic Tank Systems
Before purchasing a home that makes use of a septic tank, test the borehole water to analyse for possible contaminants in the tank. If you live on a property that has a septic tank and you make use of the groundwater, it is always advisable that you test the well water on an annual basis for coliform bacteria and nitrates.

The following are a few other elements that you can test specifically for:

  • Test for pesticides if the home is built on the site of an old farm or orchard;
  • Test for volatile organic material if an oil tank is buried on your property, or if there is a commercial storage tank buried nearby; and
  • Test for lead if the home has lead pipes. Lead tests are important for homes with public water, since contamination occurs after the water enters the plumbing.


Faulty Well Components
Should any repairs be required, the well should be sanitised after the repairs are completed. Re-test the water sanitary level to ensure that the problem has been corrected.


Problems That Can Be Corrected
A properly constructed head works with a tight fitting well head cap to protect the casing on the surface. A poor head makes it easy for surface water and other undesirables, such as mice and insects, to directly enter into the well or holding tank.

Well safety tips to take note of include:

  • Never store or mix chemicals near the well head. A simple spill could easily go directly into the well; and
  • Never pour pesticides or other dangerous chemicals down the drain.


Water Quality Monitoring
It is an unfortunate fact that the quality of your groundwater can be impacted over time. The most important type of contaminant to monitor against is bacteriological contamination, which occurs from leaking sewers and pit latrines. We recommend that a sample be drawn and analysed for bacteriological indicators at least once a year.


Other Recommendations
We recommend that you seal abandoned wells, as they are a direct route from the surface to the groundwater. Test your well water quality on an annual basis and inspect visible well components for signs of problems.

If you would like more information and advice about maintaining your borehole, contact us today. We look forward to providing you with all the information that you need to make an informed purchasing decision.


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