The average cost of drilling a water well

Installing a water well on your property can be a large investment. Drilling companies charge for their equipment, material and expertise. It's important to have an idea how much the installation will cost so you can evaluate a drilling quote. The total cost will vary depending on the depth of your well, the well materials, the geology of the property and the going rates in your area.


Drilling companies will charge a mobilisation and demobilisation cost to move their equipment and materials to the project site. Average mob/demob costs are £195 to £390 depending on the type of equipment and the distance to the project site. Companies that charge mileage to a site may charge a rate similar to the federal reimbursable rate for that year.

Drilling and Well Installation

Drillers often charge for their services on a per foot basis. Some companies may add the equipment and material cost together to determine a per foot rate while others may separate these costs on the estimate. Standard drilling in unconsolidated sediment may range from £26 to £39 per foot for both equipment and materials for a 2-inch well. Larger well diameters, such as 4-inch wells, generally cost a minimum of £6 more per foot. These rates are typical of hollow stem auger rigs. Rotary rigs, such as those that can core through rock, are more expensive to operate and may cost as much as £13 to £19 more per foot than hollow stem auger rigs.

Well Completion and Development

Well covers such as flush mount metal covers and vaults are popular completions for a water well. Depending on the size and complexity of the cover, the cost can range from £97 to £325 for materials and installation. After the well installation is complete, drillers may develop the water well to remove fines and sand that entered the casing during the installation process. Typical well development costs range from £32 to £65 per hour.

Extra Costs

Some companies may charge per diem rates of £97 to £162 per day for the crew if the project causes an overnight stay. Other miscellaneous charges for a drilling project include downtime, which is time the crew is not working through no fault of their own or containerising the drill cuttings if you cannot spread the soil on the property. The costs for these items vary widely depending on the project size and location.

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About the Author

Tracy Barnhart is an earth science expert. A professional geologist with over 16 years of technical writing experience, she has expanded her writing skills to include instructional articles on business, parenting, finance and science. She has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in geology from Furman University and the University of South Carolina.