Water is a precious commodity and seems to be the biggest challenge facing Australia in the decades ahead. As prevailing weather patterns have probably led to drought in your area and if you live in a rural location, you may be inclined to try and take matters into your own hands. You may have heard that freshwater can be plentiful underneath your feet and may be thinking about boring so you can take advantage of this resource, but what do you need to think about first before you proceed?
Natural Water Collection
When those epic thunderstorms arrive, they can dump an unbelievable amount of water in a specific area in a short space of time. Some of this water will evaporate, while some of it will make its way through rivers and streams and down to the coast. However, much of it will permeate the ground and find its way into aquifers that are formed within fracture lines below ground.
The rainwater will gradually seep through soil and layers of rock until it reaches those aquifers and will then move very slowly within a network of fractures. The good news is that this water will generally be in first class condition and can be used for cooking or drinking, so long as it is tested by a laboratory first.
Some of these aquifers are very close to the surface, while others are relatively deep. If you can, always get your supply from a deep bore as this will help to confirm the quality of the water. The more clay or soil in between the surface and the aquifer, the better, as this is a natural filtration system and will remove many microbes and other sources of contamination. The further down you go, the better the quality of the water.
Looking Into the Area
You should do additional research before you start to dig, however, no matter if the aquifer is quite deep below. This is especially the case if your region has a history of industrial use, where certain processes could have caused long-term contamination to the groundwater. You should also look at residential properties in the neighbourhood, especially if they are not connected to public utility services, as septic tanks can provide their own form of pollution.
If you're generally happy with your area, make sure that you place your well in an elevated position and not at the bottom of a natural dip or gully. Otherwise, heavy rains could submerge your installation and run-off could contaminate the source beneath.
Do This First
Before you make any firm plans, you need to be certain what you are dealing with and should get a professional to help you. Make sure that the bore is drilled correctly by those with experience in this area and send your first sample off to a laboratory for the proper analysis.