Buy water tanks, rainwater harvesting , greywater systems

Aquarista is the leader in Greywater garden irrigation and Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa.

Contact Aquarista.

All you need to know: Borehole and wellpoint water

Over the past few years there has been a shift in the mentality amount garden owners about tapping into ground water for irrigation purposes. The initial attitude was one of complete abundance, almost as if the ground several metres below us is soaked in water.

Irrigating with borehole water

I call this the “sponge in a bathtub” mindset. The sponge floats with top just sticking out above the water line. Stick a straw into the sponge and you would be able to suck the water out of it.

In recent years this mindset has been shown to be fallacious as many wellpoint and borehole users have learned their lesson the costly way. Within months, for some, after sinking a bore hole their water supply has dried up. Drilling companies are no longer able to guarantee hitting water, nor are they able to guess how long the ground water will be available.

Some have stuck to the old unsustainable mentality and have decided to just drill deeper. Hoping to hit water again. The problem lies in the nature of gravity. Ground water is always drawn deeper into the earths crust. The more “straws” we stick into the sponge the faster the water level drops.

Now you may have heard the counter argument that rainwater replenishes ground water supplies. This is only partially true. Cape Town has several underground aquifers, some shallow and some deep below the surface.

The shallow aquifer (Cape Flats Aquifer) can sometime be seen above ground, during times of high rainfall, and may lie as deep as 10 metres below ground at certain locations. This ground water source is replenished when it rains every year.

Other ground water sources form part of the the Table Mountain Group Aquifer which lies much deeper. It is not uncommon for these borehole pumps to be sunk 80+ metres below. The problem with accessing this source of water lies in the extremely gradual recharge rate. This recharge rate is in terms of hundreds of years and not just one single year compared to the Cape Flats Aquifer. It is therefore not surprising that many shallower boreholes (20 to 40 metres) have dried up in recent years. Sucking water from this depth is unsustainable and costly. (Typically R1000 per meter + cost of the pump)

I would not be surprised if you you know of a friend or neighbour who’s borehole has run dry in recent years. This is often the same story we hear from clients struck by the misfortune of their wellpoint or borehole drying up. For them we provide a sustainable solution to their water problem that still allows them to enjoy the bounty of their garden. It is true that we will not be able to supply thousands of litres of water to irrigate large water thirsty gardens daily but with our systems your garden is assured of water every day as long as you are still bathing, showering and doing laundry.

The cost of a borehole could be R40,000 + with the uncertainty of not knowing whether you will hit water or if it will dry up in the next year of two (and it probably will) or you could spend between R8500 and 12K on a greywater system and be guaranteed water everyday for many years to come. (Terms and conditions: Bath, shower, wash hand, clean laundry. I need to mention that.)

What choice will you be making this season as summer threatens the existence of your garden?

5 comments to All you need to know: Borehole and wellpoint water

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>