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Borehole or Wellpoint?

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Water is a scarcity…and a necessity if you, like us, love gardens and plants. It has been predicted that the Western Cape will be the first region to run out of water unless steps are taken to manage the demand for water more efficiently. With the current water restrictions that are in place, our landscapes are suffering. Lawns are definitely not as lush and green and pests and diseases can take hold in the garden when plants are weakened and vulnerable. Also, water costs are on the rise and watering your garden from the mains is becoming more and more costly. Installing a wellpoint or borehole will help offset the use of potable water (from the mains) whilst still maintaining a beautiful garden. In this blog we explore the differences between them and look at the pros and cons of these systems as well as other factors to consider.

What is a wellpoint?
A well point is a ‘well’ that is dug to extract shallow ground water from the water table below the surface of the ground. They usually can reach a maximum depth of 10 to 15m depending on your particular area and ground water profile. Wellpoints are sufficient for the irrigation of small to medium sized residential gardens. It consists of a shallow shaft, a pump to suck up the water and a small ‘well’ that fills up. It is more cost effective and quicker to install than a borehole due to the shallower depths needed. Sometimes the water yield from one well will not be enough to run your irrigation system and so a second well is dug on your property. These two are them connected together to work as one system.

What is a borehole?
A borehole is a much deeper extraction of water and is used when higher volumes of water are required in a landscape or garden. Boreholes are more likely to be considered for grassed sports fields, parks, golf courses, industrial, agricultural or large and well-watered gardens. Boreholes can have a depth of about 30 m to 100 m or more. Because of this it is a more costly installation and can take a few days or up to a week to install.

How much do they cost?
A well point can be installed starting at R5000 and up. Boreholes are more expensive and usually cost R40 000 and up! This is a large investment to make in your garden, and careful consideration for your irrigation needs and garden goals should be made.

Benefits of each system:
Save potable water
Groundwater use for irrigation of gardens and topping up of swimming pools is currently free and not regulated…yet
Water savings immediately and in the future – the installation pays for itself after a year or two
Add value to your property
Better for the environment and the landscape – no long term effects found to date
We live in an area that replenishes its groundwater reserves every year during our wet winter

Drawbacks of each system:
Well points can and often do run dry in the hot summer months when the water table lowers
Boreholes are very expensive to install
Pump failure is common on both systems and replacement can be costly
Borehole installations can be difficult if your property does not have good access to the road for machinery to come through.
You may not find water on your property at adequate depths or the ground profile may be wrong for capturing water…they usually then charge you a reduced fee for their time and labour.
Current water restrictions and watering times apply to wellpoints and boreholes as well

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