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Greywater garden irrigation vs. Boreholes

Say you judge your gardening skills according to how green your lawn is or how colourful your flower beds look, then you’ve probably thought, “It would be so easy if only I had a garden irrigation system”, or if you already have one, then your probably wishing you didn’t didn’t have to pay for the water you use.

Boreholes, wellpoints, greywater systems

What to expect from your lawn this summer.

These gardening concerns are definitely not unusual. Luckily there are solutions to these concerns, some come at great expense, a certain degree of uncertainty with a notion of unlimited water, while other are environmentally friendly or pay themselves back within short periods of time. They usually  offer watering exemptions during seasons of water restriction.

Now already, you may be asking yourself which would be the better investment that allows you to keep your garden green so you can show off your green-fingers .

I’m certain that you no longer need to be convinced that using fresh municipal makes little sense, just like you wouldn’t buy bottled water to to water your garden would you?

What are the options?

Sinking a borehole:

The preconceived idea about boreholes is that they give you access to an unlimited resource of water and that all you need to do is drill deep enough and “whah-la” you have water to quench the thirst of a small country. (Well, not quite)

Over and about the site establishment fee. The typical cost is R1,000.00 per meter. (I am yet to find a water diviner with a reputable track record – I’m open to recommendation)  No drilling company can promise the success of finding water, no matter how deep they go. However you may be one of the lucky, or should I say “very” lucky ones that find ample water of high enough quality without needing to drill too deep. Over the last few years we have heard more reports of borehole drying up and this has been documented as a result of the groundwater table sinking lower.


The cost of a well point is considerably less than that of a borehole. These typically are drilled less than 10 metres deep and can cost as little as R3,000.00. They typically offer a reliable source of water during spring and the start of summer, however it is not unusual wellpoints to dry out over the hot summer months when you need them most.

The water table that wellpoints draw from is different to that of boleholes. Wellpoint areas recharge during the rainy months and the water is stored above a less permeable level of soil under ground. As long as it rains the water is recharged, this is not the case with boreholes.

Greywater garden irrigation systems:

The typical greywater irrigation system installs for between R9,000 and R13,000. It receive water from the bath, shower, hand basins and the laundry and typically pays for itself within 3 year. You might not have found an free water source but it is reliable. If you haven’t heard of the concept of showering more to save water, then it might sound counter intuitive, but this is a benefit of recycling greywater. Above the luxury of saving water while showering longer, the nutritional content in the bath and laundry water promote healthy plant growth without the need of additional fertilizers.

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