Are Boreholes Bad for the Environment?

by | Sep 6, 2021

As the world is waking up to the importance of looking after our planet, it is only natural that every process to do with the land is scrutinised to ensure it is as environmentally friendly as possible. Boreholes are certainly no exception. Whilst it is rare that someone asks us if boreholes are bad for the environment, we’ve seen it mentioned in the industry enough times to add our two cents to the argument.

Here at Borehole Solutions, we take great care when it comes to looking after the environment. In fact, before any project we work on, we do our own checks on any environmental impacts. These checks will reveal if a site is environmentally suitable to be worked on. This ensures there is not a negative impact towards flora/fauna and won’t lead to pollution of the land. You can also book an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) which is an extensive, multi-page document, covering the environmental impact to very fine details. These are generally reserved for larger developments, infrastructure projects or in environmentally sensitive areas.

Secondly, it is worth noting that boreholes can be used for a multitude of reasons. Some of these actually aid in protecting the environment. For example, a geotechnical site survey or a smaller window sample can help reveal information about the land. This is one of the methods used to check the land for contaminants, such as PCBs or asbestos. Following these tests the land can then be remediated by removing contaminants and other harmful materials from the environment.

How do boreholes for water wells impact the environment?

Another type of borehole is one used for accessing groundwater. These tend to be the boreholes that people worry about when it comes to the environment. People think that drilling down to the groundwater could pollute the water source. As we mentioned before, our environmental impact report would ensure that any work carried out on the site is suitable before it happens. This means that there should not be any risk of contaminating groundwater, as long as best practices are followed when drilling.

The government are also very relaxed on how much impact these wells have on the environment. You can extract up to 20,000 litres of water a day without getting an abstraction license. That’s 7.3million litres a year. If they were bad for the environment, surely the government would intervene!

On top of all this, using water from a borehole can bring down a business’ scope 3 emissions and reduce their carbon footprint. This can be around a 90% reduction depending on their water usage. A large water user (around 80million litres a year) could be reducing their carbon footprint by over 22,000kgCO2e a year compared to using treated mains water.

I think you can tell where this is heading, based on everything we’ve laid out above, but we’ll say it anyway. Boreholes are not bad for the environment. They are very much good for the environment!

Contact Us

If you’d like to find out more about anything we mentioned today, from contamination testing to EIAs or drilling for a water well, get in touch!

Contact Borehole Solutions today on 01733 200 501. We also offer an extensive range of other geotechnical services, including sonic, rotary and cable percussion drilling, as well as soakaway, water well and ground source heat pump installations! Or take a look at our Instagram to see images of our previous work.