water borehole chamber

How to Tell if your Property has Water for a Borehole

Water boreholes are a sustainable method of water supply to domestic or commercial properties, saving money and energy as well as directly providing clean water. The borehole drilling process consists of drilling a hole into the ground to access water underneath the surface. A pump is then added in order to collect and deliver natural water, into your property. 

Installing a water borehole is a worthy investment as upfront costs are typically fully recovered within two to three years. Following installation, the only cost will be the running of the pump and there is no need to pay a water company, unless you are on mains sewage. The benefits sell themselves, however, you may be wondering, how to tell if your property has water for a borehole.

The process

At Dragon Drilling, we use the method that we believe has the best scientific evidence behind it in order to accurately locate underground water sources and efficiently pump it into your home. All boreholes in the UK should be registered with the British Geological Survey (BGS). Before starting a new project, we will use the ‘Geology of Britain’ map provided to locate the address and anticipate the ground conditions of the area with details of any nearby boreholes. Borehole logs, used to measure and gather information from inside the borehole, provide us with the data we need to put together a proposal for the customer stating the estimated works and pricing. From this, we can also tell how far down we need to drill before we expect to hit rock and how far into the rock we want to go to draw a plentiful supply.  

Water quality 

Borehole drilling most often results in naturally high quality, clean water. However, testing is also carried out afterwards to ensure it is 100% safe to drink. If there are contaminants in the water, we can install a treatment system alongside a holding tank that will ensure your water supply is filtered and sterilised at all times. 

Should there be any ‘red flags’ from the desktop study with regards to ground conditions or potential contaminants then we will advise the customer to commission a Hydrogeology Report from an independent third party. These reports have access to private information and will provide far greater detail than we would be able to. This is a necessity for a large scale commercial property and often puts the customer at ease.

We also use the BGS Geoindex (Onshore) which can show us the hydrogeology classifications of an address. 

The BGS use 4 classifications;

  1. Rocks with essentially no groundwater.
  2. Low productivity aquifer.
  3. Medium productivity aquifer.
  4. High productivity aquifer.

These classifications are based on commercial use. 99% of domestic properties are fine to go ahead with a low productivity classification (which covers most of North Wales). However, if an area is classified as ‘rocks with essentially no groundwater’, we will again advise the customer that a report would be needed should they wish to go ahead. 

Other methods 

There are a couple of different ways to locate and install water boreholes, but, we believe this is the best, most accurate method. One method we don’t use but are often asked about is water divining or dowsing. This is an ancient practice involving using a forked piece of wood, a y-shaped metal rod or a pendulum to detect hidden underground substances such as water. If a customer requests for us to drill where a diviner has suggested, we will do so but entirely at the customers risk. We will also ensure we offer a full explanation of both methods and the accuracy involved beforehand to avoid the customer running into extra costs and a longer installation time. 


Dragon Drilling are the UK’s leading specialists when it comes to water boreholes, specialising in design, installation and maintenance. Using a range of specialist drilling rigs and equipment, our chartered environmental engineers will be on hand to provide extensive assistance and expert advice throughout the whole process. If you’re interested in installing a water borehole at your property or want to know more, get in touch


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