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BoreWell Forum

Solutions to common domestic bore problems

Problems, possible causes, tests, and solutions are summarised as follows:

Problem Possible causes Test Solution

Supply failed completely Pump malfunction Check power and Repair or replace
pump operation pump

Water entry to bore Measure standing Redevelop bore

blocked water level and/or treat with

Bore dewatered Measure standing Relocate bore or drill

water level to a deeper aquifer

Bore (casing) Measure bore depth Replace bore


Formation collapsed Measure standing Replace bore or clean

water level out and re-case

Water level low Measure standing Reduce pumping rate

water level and/or deepen bore

Water entry to bore Measure water level Redevelop bore

restricted and check water and/or treat with
quality for deposits chemicals

Supply reduced Pump malfunction Check pump Repair pump

Bore silted up Measure bore depth Clean out and

redevelop bore

Interference with Observe effect on Reduce pumping rate

neighbouring bores standing water level
of neighbouring
bores pumping

Iron/manganese Check discharge for Disinfect bore/treat

bacteria slimy deposits and/or with chemicals
water test analysis

Sand in the water Hole in casing or Measure bore depth Replace casing or
screen and check discharged bore

Incorrect screen or Measure bore depth Redevelop bore and

slot size and check discharged replace screen/slots
Subsidence at surface Aquifer collapsed Check discharged Replace bore

Pumping sand Check discharged Redevelop bore and

through incorrect water and measure replace screen/slots
screen / slot size bore depth

Discoloured/bad Clay or silt particles Check water quality Redevelop bore

smelling water entering bore for deposits

Water source Water test / analysis Relocate bore, and/or

polluted e.g. leak seal surface casing
from nearby septic and/or remove
tank source of pollution

White/gray scale in Water Hardness Perform water Seek specialist advice

cooking pots when water analysis / test
is boiled

Red staining on High iron Perform water Seek specialist advice

plumbing fixtures, concentration in analysis / test
clothes during water

Oily sheen on water in Iron bacteria Perform water Seek specialist advice
containers analysis / test

Rotten egg smell in Sulphur bacteria Perform water Seek specialist advice
water and/or hydrogen analysis / test
sulphide gas

Change in colour, taste, Possible Perform water Seek specialist advice

or odour of the water contamination of the analysis / test