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Boreholes are far from boring…

So what is a borehole? Well, in general terms...

18th February 2021

A borehole is simply a term for any narrow shaft drilled in the ground. But in this is instance we are talking about an increasingly popular and sustainable route to securing precious water supplies.

A borehole used as a water well is completed by installing a vertical pipe and well screen to keep the borehole from collapsing. This also protects the water from any contaminants entering the borehole and pump. Most large cities get their water from surface sources, but it is estimated that there is ten times as much freshwater below the land as there is on the surface. Groundwater sourced via a borehole is also a far safer water source and can be treated to a level as good or better than network providers.

A self-sufficient and reliable water supply

Many organisations see the fact that boreholes enable a greater degree of self-sufficiency as their primary benefit. The water contained beneath the surface has accumulated because of rain and natural run-off, so the consumer is merely accessing a resource that has accumulated naturally across their region and there is no reliance on a third-party provider or processes for the supply.

Boreholes are increasingly seen as a route to mitigate the potential impact of supply interruptions, faulty valves or burst pipes or low flow rates during times of high demand. The chances of a fault are reduced dramatically if the entire system is only serving a single property or site.

Delivering a commercial advantage

Like other systems such as solar panels or a wind turbine, a borehole can add value to a commercial property. Research conducted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy found that making energy and water saving improvements to your property could increase its value by 14% on average – and up to 38% in some parts of England.

The cost of water has increased exponentially over the past century. A recent study by Ofwat found that the cost of water has risen by as much as 82% within some regions of the United Kingdom over the past 15 years. A borehole accesses an existing supply of water and if you have self-funded the borehole this eliminates third-party providers from the picture, which in turn reduces the cost of providing water. UK regulations stipulate that the consumer has the right to draw up to 20 cubic metres of water or 4,400 gallons from the ground every day without having to apply for a license, if you are planning on pumping more water there will be an additional licensing cost but the commercial benefit is still likely to be significant.

The environmental edge

Using a borehole is a safe and sustainable natural water source. Around 60% of all mains water is recycled which requires a lot of energy to clean to achieve safe drinking water. The water industry is responsible for 0.8% of the UK annual greenhouse gas emissions. By using a borehole, you can reduce your scope 3 emissions and reduce your carbon footprint. For example, a medium to large sized manufacturer uses around 80,000m3 of water annually which results in an average carbon footprint of 24,500kgCO2e. With a borehole implemented this manufacturer could reduce its carbon footprint by 22,000kgCO2e per annum, which is a 90% carbon reduction.

Inenco can help

If you are looking to implement a borehole, Inenco has a wealth of experience and experts who have over 30 years’ experience in the water sector. To find out how you could reduce your utility costs and carbon footprint contact us on  01253 785294 and speak to one of our experts.