25 Nagging Borehole Drilling Questions

Why is Borehole drilling essential?

Borehole drilling is a universal solution to water scarcity. Highly densely populated countries like India always face water shortage problems. In India, many agriculture rural areas are now solely dependent on borehole drilling. Farmers are not only cultivating crash crops but also winter crops as well.

What is the difference between a water well and borewell?

Borewell process includes puncturing the water well with the help of the drilling machine. In a traditional approach, the soil is dug using human resources. If labor hits any rocky area, then rocks are fractured using explosions.

What is the advantage of borewell drilling than traditional water well?

  • It takes less amount of space for a bore.
  • Water well requires at least a month to build, whereas borewell drilling happens within 2 hours.
  • Fail-Start – If by chance, you don’t get water even after one thousand feet, then you can try another bore on the same day. On the other hand, water well is a one-time attempt most of the time.

Why are the drawbacks of borehole drilling?

There are three significant drawbacks. First is, the drilling area must be specific. Second, if the borehole doe not has a cap, then there are chances of water theft. Third, an additional water motor setup is necessary to pump the water out of the aquifer.

Who invented borewell?

There is no specific timeline identified by historians. However, borewell innovated around an era of the Han Dynasty.

How much does it cost to drill a borehole?

A borehole costs approximately 500 Indian rupees per foot, which is equivalent to ten US dollars; it will be around one or two-dollar per foot. The total borehole cost for five hundred feet, including casing and water motor, is fifty thousand Indian rupees or one thousand dollars.

Is there any additional cost?

In addition to drilling, there is an additional cost of capping, casing, and water motor installation. Capping is essential to avoid stealing water. The housing around the borehole is mandatory to prevent the closure of the hole due to mud. And finally, water motor and electricity installation is necessary to pull water from the hole.

What are the three types of drill bits?

1) Fixed cutter drill bits – it is further classified into PDC drill bits (Polycrystalline diamond compact) and Diamond drill bits. The diamond drill bits organized into Natural diamond drill bits, TSP drill bits, and 

2) Roller tri-cone drill bits – it is further divided into two categories. Mill tooth roller tri-cone drill bits.

 3) Impregnated diamond drill bits.

How long does it take to drill a borehole?

After analysis of the drilling, the surface is ready, and drill entrance is available, it takes around two hours for one thousand feet depth of borehole drilling.

What is directional drilling?

The drilling system works in two directions, horizontal drilling, and vertical drilling. The vertical drilling follows a common approach of pushing drill bits inside the surface vertically using drilling shafts and bits. In horizontal drilling, holes are made inside readymade water well. Over the years, water well holes get filled with mud and sand. Therefore, horizontal drilling helps to clear chocked up water lines. Manual horizontal directional drilling involves workforce and labor.

On the other hand, Automatic modern horizontal directional drilling works on a fully computerized system. The computer analyzes the drilling path using advance mapping data. This digital map contains all information about which is a suitable area for drilling and which is not.

What is maximum borehole depth?

Water aquifer is located usually within one thousand feet. After a thousand feet, it is not possible to drill because the further areas may contain rocks and other deposits.

How does borehole work?

horizontal directional drilling
Horizontal directional drilling

As you can see in the image, the rotating drilling bit mounted on shaft pushes forward and sprays the high-pressure liquid along with water and clay mixture. Once the drilling bit has reached its desired potential, a circular casing is fit around the drill hole. The drilling bit entirely operates bases automatically on the instructions of the ground team. It can go left, right, up, down, or any degree circular is depending upon the steering done by an operator on surface.

Can you drink water from a borehole?

Borehole water is the purest form of water condensed inside aquifer over the years. It is perfectly drinkable with little minimal filtration.

Do I need permission to drill a borehole?

If you are drilling in your land, then there is no need to take any permission from the local government. However, if you want to dig in an urban area, local authorities’ approval is required depending upon the locality of the drilling spot.

Can a borehole run dry?

The borehole is a line of water table inside the soil. If aquifer does not have regular water supply from rainfall, then there are chances that borehole will dry soon enough.

Where do we drill a borehole?

You can drill a bore in your garden or a farm that is own by you. You can take the help of geoscientists to understand the elevation levels. Many do-yourself-tools are also available in the market to analyze water aquifers.

How much water needed for the drill hole?

There is some amount of water flushed when drilling bits puncture the soil. This water is used to clear the drilling and loosen the further area. In horizontal drilling, high-pressure liquid continuously flows through drilling bit.

What is drilling machinery required for borehole drilling?

Drilling machines primarily consist of a steering motor, shaft, bits, cables, and casing. The entire machinery is transportable, provided road is broad enough.

How many drills does a drill machine can makes?

One thousand feet of drilling usually completes in around 2 hours. So you can make as many as holes that time permits, and the drilling contractor is comfortable to do. Sometimes drilling is required for multiple locations until water locates.

Which is the best time for borehole drilling?

Summer is the best time for borehole drilling. Because most of the land is dry, and the drilling machine is easily transportable across farms.

Are there any do-it-yourself Horizontal boring machine?

Yes, there are plenty of YouTube videos, where you can watch how manual operator horizontal boring machine works.

Does Borehole cost differ in countries?

Yes, it does. In the USA, people use advanced technology contained drilling machines. This drilling machine is highly expensive than a traditional drilling machine. Also, it depends upon the quality of other components used along with drill bits for drill a bore. If you want to hire borehole services like borewell imaging specialists, then the cost of the drilling would also increase.

Can I start a borehole drilling business?

Yes, there are many successful companies in the borehole business — the majority of them operator twenty-four-seven during the peak summer season. If you do not have enough knowledge on the market, then you can just rent out the borehole drilling machine. However, it is essential to do some homework before starting any drilling business. The capital requirement is medium as big banks even provide loan discounts on machinery.

The following list contains a few top Borehole companies and services.

Organization name: Borehole Control

Location: Marrero, Louisiana

Organization Name: Sigma Cubed Micro seismic

Location: Houston, TX

Organization name: Mount Sopris Instrument Co.

Location: Denver, Colorado

The following are some of the drill bit manufacturing companies.

Organization name: Ulterra Drilling Technologies L.P.

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Helmerich & Payne

Location: Tulsa, OK

Cimarex Energy

Location: Denver, CO

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Water Scarcity In Africa Facts


Lasy year Nigeria suffered a deadly epidemic of cholera due to contaminated water. Most of the places water source is a water well and borewells, which sometimes contains wastewater. Some people rely on artificial water sources due to water deficit, and some walk up to 10 km to collector water from dry river ponds.


Ethiopia used to have many lakes 20 years ago, which have now dried and used to their full potential. They recently build a 5 billion dollar dam along with Sudan to suffice the water need of its citizens. However, it may cause a conflict with neiboughring nation Egypt. Ethiopia is running out of its water resource. It rapidly becoming a water-scarce country; however, the major problem lies with the UK and Egtpy treaty of 1929 to share control of the Nile river.


Egypt having Nile river running through its center, is suffering from water supply problems. The capital city Cairo is batteling for water shortage. Ethiopia is pushing with the water dam project, while Egypt is not happy with the agreements. Egypt realized they could not rely on the Nile river, and water scarcity will become permanant if immediate steps not taken place. Between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia has now devolved into a complicated triangle of contention. Egypt gets approximately 55 million cubic meters from the Nile river in addition to recycled water that makes a total of about 80 billion per year. This demand is rising every year up to 120 billion cubic meters.

DR Congo

DR Congo lies on the banks of freshwater lakes and has had heavy rainfall in recent years. However, it is still counted as water scarcity in the African region as it has no running water across its state. Many times water has to be traded from bordering countries


Rwanda is a country where water cost is double compared to other African water-deficit countries. A container is a cost at 50 Rwanda francs, and it is easily carried across borders from Rwanda to DR Condo without any immigration checks. Water scarcity has become imminent across Rwanda regions due to which the majority of children cannot attend schools.

South Africa

South Africa is the wealthiest nation in the African region. However, consecutive three years of drought has made the capital city Cape Town’s water supply is run dry. There are legal rules in cities where water drinking water is not available for any other purpose other than drinking. People got arrest for even washing cars with drinking water. In some videos, good income earning people carry 4-5 buckets in hands-on streets, collecting water from public taps. The protests are ongoing against the privatization of water.


Tanzania has very few water resources. It is one of the water-scarce nations in the African continent where people lack access to basic needs, and sources of water are a far story. People travel 70 miles a day to search for water for themselves and their livestock. Water scarcity has led to war and conflict with neighboring countries and an increase in the rise of armed rebels. Not only that, but there has been an increase in cattle theft and smuggling.


Kenya has a population close a million, and more than half of Kenya’s population doesn’t have access to clean water. Villagers rely on local government to get water from trucks and boreholes, which contains harmful substances. The government is working to find water, but finding the water table has become an impossible challenge.


Uganda has adequate sources of water, and villages mostly have to dig a hole in open soil to get water. The problem is not with water but getting into it because most of the water sources are 50-0 deep inside the land. Uganda always faces a drought situation and require international help.

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How Water Omniprocessor works

Importance of Omniprocessor: 

Water scarcity is a constant challenge through the Africa continent. In some African countries, there is no facility for sewage pipeline, and hence sludge is unprocessed. It retains in the sewage tanks until tanks are full and start spilling over the streets. Finally, mud has to take out with manual human labor efforts by digging a hole inland and then manually pulling sludge with a bucket and filled in drilled holes. It imposes a significant risk of contamination because manually cleaning sewage tanks may affect the workers, and then the disease is spread over whoever comes in contact.

Sometimes little children even swim in these sludge-filled waters. Another way to transfer the sludge via pumping using a motorized and then transfer via big tucks to the wastewater treatment plant. However, it still does kill the pathogens. It is where Omni processors play a crucial role. It is a pathogen-free processor and also creates many by-products like electricity, Ash, and pure drinking water. The by-product ashes are durable and economical. Hence by selling these products, one can run a profitable business from this water sanitation process. Also, it helps to solve water scarcity issues.

How Omni Processor works:

Sludge goes into conveyor bet in vertical slope. This sludge contains human and any waste that runs through your building sewage pipeline to wastewater treatment plants

It then goes into the boiling tube where this sludge boils. The boiling is horizontally aligned so that the mud remains on the surface, while water vapors go through vertical tracts.

In this boiling process, water vapors are separated from sludge solids and stored them in a container.

Separated sludge is then fed into the fire and creates a high pressure, high-temperature steam.

The hot steam transfers to a steam engine that helps to run a generator to produce electricity.

The high pressure is steam is so considerable that it is a help to run the generator and also used to fulfill the demand for electricity in towns and villages.

On the other side, the water vapors that generates during the boiling process is process transferred to the water filtration system.

This water filtration system sanitizes and filters the water so that it is available for drinking during water scarcity situations. The pH value in this filtered water is the same water inside any standard drinking water bottle.

The person who is managing this whole process is get paid in two ways. One, getting paid for taking sludge water and second providing electricity and clean drinking water for communities.

The Omniprocessors costs around 2 million each, however, they have an immediate return on investment once the sewage pipelines are connected. Also, with the latest mobile devices, it is accessible to operator them remotely and required few resources to maintain on-site.

The Omniprocessor is the result of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation program to provide drinkable water and economical electricity in poor countries. It also meets the United States’ greenhouse gas emission standards. Omni Processors are easy to install and runs on the steam engine, just like an old train engine. Hence it doesn’t need an additional power supply. Instead, it over generates electricity, and extra is given back to societies.

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