Is Water from a Borehole Safe to Drink?

by | Jul 18, 2022

There are numerous reasons for somebody wanting to get a borehole drilled. One of the most common of which is to act as a self-sufficient water source by accessing the groundwater. Businesses and homes alike can extract up to 20,000 litres of water per day without requiring a license, meaning it is a very cost-effective, long-term investment. However, as the water is not treated in the same manner as mains water, it may result in people questioning if the borehole water is safe to drink.

Test the Water

‘Potable’ is the term used to describe water that is safe to drink. Borehole water generally is potable, although if you are thinking about drinking from it, then the water should be tested first. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! As the water is from a natural source, it may contain too much iron, magnesium or calcium, as well as other minerals and bacteria, which may be dangerous in high amounts or for vulnerable people. The following tests and solutions will ensure your borehole adheres to the UK Private Water Supply regulations.

How is the Water Tested?

There are filters available that can be used to reduce the level of minerals in the water as well as filter out any sediment, such as sand or gravel. In addition, some chemicals can be used to treat levels of certain minerals to ensure the water is safe to drink. If the pH level is too high or low, then chemicals can be used to treat the pH level prior to the water reaching your taps. If bacterium is the problem in question, then UV lights can be used to sterilise the water and kill the remaining bacteria.

When should the Water be Tested? 

The water should be tested regularly to ensure there has not been any significant changes in the water quality – testing yearly should suffice. This should be regular enough to check that there isn’t excess minerals or bacteria accumulating in your well. However, if you notice a chance in odour or taste, then you should test more often as it could indicate that the composition of your borehole water has changed. If somebody vulnerable is drinking from the well, such as the elderly or an infant, then the water should be tested twice a year to be on the safe side.

If there has been construction works nearby or work involving the use of chemicals, a flooding or if somebody in the household has persistent gastrointestinal illnesses, then the borehole water should be tested more regularly to check that it remains safe to drink from.

Contact Us

Whether you’re looking for a borehole to be drilled to access groundwater for drinking, requiring maintenance on a pre-existing borehole, or any other geotechnical service, then we would love to hear from you! For more information about our geotechnical drilling services, then please get in touch on 01733 200 501 or email us at