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Key Info

Hydrogeological assessment
Water divining/dowsing
Borehole Feasibility
Borehole design

Hydrogeological survey / water diviner

Once your water requirements are established, it is usually advisable that the likelihood of finding the quantity and quality of water that you require from the ground is investigated prior to drilling a borehole. There are two main ways of going about this, they are; undertaking a hydrogeological assessment or a borehole prognosis and water divining or dowsing.

Hydrogeological assessment (recommended)

Hydrogeological assessments can be undertaken on a number of levels and are usually a minimum requirement if an abstraction licence is required. Most drilling companies will have access to geological maps; this combined with local knowledge will allow them to produce a borehole design that should be capable of meeting your requirements. If the drilling conditions or hydrogeology of the area are more complex then additional surveys may need to be undertaken, two of the most common are indicated below:

Hydrogeological assessment

Usually required to plan for a larger groundwater abstraction, to reappraise existing licence abstraction, to support a licence application, assess the impacts and risks of a known pollution hazard on groundwater abstraction or the aquatic environment and many more.

The hydrogeological assessment typically comprises of (but is not limited to) the following tasks:

  • Ascertain the requirements of the customer, location, yield and use;
  • Geological assessment, general geology, lithology and structure
  • Hydrogeology, implications of the geology in terms of water bearing horizons, anticipated yield, hydraulic properties of each aquifer, groundwater flow direction, pathways and rates of flow.
  • Aquifer availability, the Environment Agency's classification of the aquifer in terms of availability of water and licence.
  • Boreholes and abstractions in the catchment and region, including borehole logs and aquifer parameters (where known)
  • Data collection and collation
  • Groundwater quality assessment
  • Catchment assessment, an understanding of the anticipated groundwater catchment
  • Catchment risk assessment, and risks to yield and quality, including the potential for planned activities to result in groundwater contamination and known or expected presence, distribution, concentration and risk from existing contamination.
  • Anticipated yield and quality of abstracted water
  • Assessment of source, contaminant transport pathways and receptors for groundwater contamination
  • Initial assessment of health and environmental risk
  • Borehole design and recommendations

Standard domestic £585 plus VAT (upto 20m³/day)

Small to medium abstraction licence (20-100m³) £835 plus VAT


Water divining/dowsing

Water divining or dowsing is the name given to a method of locating water without the use of scientific apparatus. L or Y shaped rods/ sticks are usually used, for the Y shaped stick, the two ends on the forked side are held one in each hand, the diviner then walks slowly over the places where he suspects the water to be, and the dowsing rod dips, when a discovery is made. For the L shaped rods, one rod is held in each hand, with the long arm pointing forward. When water is found, the rods cross over one another making an "X" over the location.

There is no scientific evidence that divining is effective, however, the success rate of experienced diviners/ dowsers is unquestionable and many drilling companies still use them to advise on a suitable drilling locations. An experienced diviner/dowser will be able to advise on the depth of the water, the amount of water and even its direction of flow.




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