Most people do not think about the fresh water that flows underneath their property. But they can tap into the aquifer and have a free source of water, by expending a little labour effort and time. There are many portable drilling kits available for the do-it-yourself construction engineer. If you have a low water table, extended, deep drilling will not be necessary. Such drilling systems can pay for themselves in a few months of operation. You can drill a water bore, using a few hand tools.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Hand drilling bore system
- Electric drill motor (1/2 to 3/4 chuck size, variable with reverse)
- Pipe sections (three to 10 feet, threaded both sides, 3/4 inch)
- Garden hose
- Torpedo level
- Wood planks
- Pipe plug (3/4-inch cap size)
Scout your location for the proposed water bore hole. Keep it distant from any septic tank, fertilised fields and animal pens. The ground should be relatively level. Dig a base hole using a shovel, deep and wide enough to accommodate the drill motor, with a deep enough sump to catch spillover water. Two-feet square will serve for the base hole.
Attach the bore drilling kit steel coupler to the 3/4-inch pipe, at one end. Screw the kit bit into the coupler and tighten it with pliers. Connect the kit reducing coupler on the other end of the 3/4-inch pipe. Three to five-foot sections of 3/4 inch pipe works best for ease of reach and applied pressure.
Connect a garden hose to the ball valve on the boring tool head. Place the kit drive head in the drill chuck and tighten it firmly with pliers. Place two planks of wood across the bore hole and use a torpedo level to sight in the vertical alignment. Hold the pipe and drill motor upright as straight as possible.
Have an assistant turn the garden hose on to low pressure. Turn the ball valve on the drilling tool and wait until you see the pipe fill with water. Have your assistant reduce the garden hose pressure until it has a small stream. Start the drill. Shove down with medium to hard pressure, while allowing the drill to achieve roughly 300 to 500rpm (revolutions per minute). Normal boring speed equates to about one foot in depth for every minute of drill operation.
Stop the drill and turn off the garden hose when the first length of pipe nearly reaches the bore hole. Unfasten the drill pipe from the boring tool and fasten a new length of pipe on the end of it with a coupler. Continue drilling down, applying pressure until you run out of clearance.
Attach another length of pipe. Continue drilling until you see some spillover from the bore hole or pipe coupler fitting. Stop the drill motor and shut the garden hose off. Screw a 3/4-inch cap plug on the end of the pipe with the pliers.
Tips and warnings
- Determine the end length of your protruding pipe, so you can hook up a manual or electric pump to it. You can cut it to size with a hacksaw, or continue drilling down to lessen the length.
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