How Much Does it Cost to Drill a Water Well?

Drilling a water well on your property can require a significant investment, but if done right,is well worth the expense. The cost of drilling a water well can also vary widely. So how do you decide if the cost of your drilling project is reasonable? To make an informed assessment, it helps to understand the different factors that influence the cost of drilling. These guidelines should help give you a basic understanding of your individual situation, and provide some guidance on what you can expect regarding the cost of drilling a well.

Number of Feet Drilled

It is common practice for drillers to base drilling charges on a cost per foot basis. The per foot cost depends on factors such as the type of soil being drilled, the type of drilling equipment used and the type of well casing. Also, the deeper the well, the higher the cost of drilling.

Soil Type

Different soil types require different drilling techniques and equipment. Hard rock, such as granite,can be very difficult to drill, while others,such as clay, are easy to drill, but often do not result in good wells. While it is not difficult to drill into unconsolidated sediment, such as gravel or sand, casing must be used to keep the well from collapsing. All of these different situations can affect the cost of drilling.

Type of Drilling Equipment Used

The soil type to be drilled can dictate the type of drilling rig that will need to be used. For example, hollow stem auger rigs can drill through unconsolidated sediments such as clay or sand. But for jobs needing to drill through boulders or bedrock, a dual rotary rig may be used, and are typically more expensive to operate. Success depends heavily on the equipment being used.

Well Casing

There are different advantages to using the various options available for well casings. PVC pipe are commonly used in consolidated formations and are often a cost-effective option. Mild steel is the most common well casing used in the varied conditions encountered in British Columbia and has the advantage of strength and versatility and is less prone to leaks and cracking, but is also a more expensive option. Your drilling company can help you weigh the advantages of the various options.

Drilling Conditions (e.g. Geology and Terrain)

Another factor affecting the cost of drilling a water well is the conditions of the drilling site. Difficult terrain,the distance to the drilling site and the availability of water all must be factored into the cost of the drilling job.

Well Completion

Once the well is drilled, there are additional costs to complete it and make it operational. Generally this includes a screen to keep out sand and gravel, a well cover,pump and motor and a storage tank.