Tips & Tricks

Drilling wells - notes and instructions

A fountain in the garden can not only look beautiful, but can also be used to water the plants. Read here how to build a well.

On dry and hot summer days, it can quickly become tight for the plants in the home garden when the rainwater stowed in the bin is slowly running out. If the hobby gardener wants to keep the flowers and prevent the harvest from falling into the water due to long-lasting drought, he is forced to use tap water. How practical would it be to have your own well so that the water supply does not run dry? If you get water from your own source, this is not only extremely practical, it also saves you money. We will now tell you how to easily drill wells and what you need to consider.

Why drill wells yourself?

Tap water is expensive. Drilling wells too, you may now reply. Not necessarily, because drilling your own well quickly paid for itself and, moreover, costs a lot less than having a professional water point built. However, drilling the well cannot really be fully recommended. Because in a rather small garden, it is only worthwhile to use the drill if the groundwater level is at most six meters deep. Digging deeper with heavy technology is only worthwhile on large plots of land.

Tip: The respective water supplier will inform you about the groundwater level on your property. In most cases, the corresponding values ​​can also be called up online.

Can I drill a well in my own garden?

This varies from municipality to municipality. In any case, you have to get clarity individually. Usually it is sufficient to register the well construction free of charge.

Wells are generally subject to approval in Germany

If you fail to report a groundwater well to the water authority, you can expect fines of up to 50,000 euros. If the well is to be used for drinking water extraction, a separate permit is required.

Well water can be used without permission as follows:

  • as irrigation water for the irrigation of plants
  • as flushing water for the toilet
  • as washing water for the dishwasher or washing machine

Tip: Even fountains that have not been registered and are only used for irrigation purposes are considered an administrative offense under German law.

Not only does the installation of a new well have to be reported, there is also an obligation to report if you put old wells back into operation or make structural changes in this context.

When registering, various details are requested

  • What type of fountain do you use?
  • Where does the fountain water come from?
  • Do you also give the well water to third parties?
  • What is the well water used for?
  • How is the water drained?

Can I drink my well water?

Drinkable quality water is not cheap. For one cubic meter of water, we pay around two euros. In order to make the water bill more moderate in the future or to even completely avoid it, the idea arises not only to irrigate the plants with the well water, but also to use it as drinking water. However, well water must not automatically be used as drinking water. Anyone planning to do this must contact the local health department. The further procedure on site is different. Some offices are content to inspect water analysis. If the health department is particularly careful, you can expect that inspections will be carried out. This is associated with costs of different amounts.

Well types

You can create different wells on your property. The following types of wells are common:

Artesian well

Wells are almost indestructible. A well filter pipe is let into the groundwater. This pipe is covered with filter gravel. Another, full-walled pipe extends to the surface of the earth, which is used for the actual water supply. Wells have a depth of six to a maximum of 20 meters. The diameter is 30 centimeters. You can easily operate a toilet in your own garden with the amount of water supplied. The costs for the professional construction of a well are between 1,300 and 1,500 euros.

Tube well

Ramming or blow wells are comparatively easy to set up and also inexpensive to implement. Rammbrunnen can be created quite easily yourself. For this you need an electric ram, which can be borrowed from specialist companies. This will push a metal pipe into the ground.

Caution: Check the depth of your water table. With this type of well, this should not exceed a depth of seven meters.

A hand pump is usually used. So you don't need an extra power source. The delivery rate is rather small and is not sufficient, for example, to use it to feed a toilet in the garden. The delivery pipes have a limited lifespan and should be replaced approximately every six years, otherwise there is a high risk that the pipes will become clogged. The cost of a ram well is around 300 euros.

Dug wells

Simply put, the shaft well is a water hole. If you dig a hole on the beach, you will experience a similar effect, the water will continue to seep in until it is level with the groundwater table. In the Middle Ages, many of these fountains were found on castles. Hence the name “fairytale fountain”. Despite their longevity, shaft wells have almost gone out of fashion today. If anything, they are only created with concrete rings. The amount of water delivered is relatively small. In contrast, there is a high price. The system can cost you up to 5,000 euros.
well typeadvantagesdisadvantage
artesian well
  • durable
  • high delivery rate
  • quite high costs (about 1,500 euros)
tube well
  • easy to put on
  • inexpensive to buy (around 300 euros)
  • limited pump path
  • Delivery tube must be replaced
dug wells
  • durable
  • Reliable
  • low flow rate
  • high costs (around 5,000 euros)

Create a well

If you look at the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of wells, it quickly becomes clear that a well is best suited for your own garden.

Ideal location for the fountain

A well will accompany you for many years. The location should therefore be carefully considered. The well should be created where the groundwater runs closest to the ground. Of course, the nature of the floor and the appearance also play a role. At its location, the fountain should not be considered a nuisance. Practical aspects also play a role. You certainly do not want to have to transport the water through detours through the entire garden and the garden hose should also reach after the connection to the fountain to the beds, shrubs or trees that you want to water with it.

What do I need to drill the well?

  • Earth auger (manual or electric)
  • Valve drill

If you choose a manual drill, you will need to use muscle power. A device with motor support simplifies your work. This means that boreholes of ten meters and more can be drilled within a few hours.

You need a valve drill as soon as you have reached the water-bearing sand layer. You could theoretically continue to work with a conventional drill, but you would not be able to advance any further in the foreseeable future because water is constantly being flushed into the side walls of the borehole. A plush is an open steel pipe that is lowered to the bottom and fills with sand there. If the plush is pulled up vigorously, the bottom is closed by a hinged lid and the contents can be pulled up.

Step by step instructions

  1. select a suitable position
  2. dig a hole
  3. Apply the drill
  4. Drill until they encounter water
  5. Insert the well pipe
  6. Insert plush
  7. Connect the pump

1 After the suitable location for the fountain has been found, first reach for the spade and dig a hole. Then it will be easier to attach the drill. Connect the drill to the power supply or turn it in fully clockwise. Do not apply pressure when drilling and drill slowly until you encounter groundwater.

2 To prevent the borehole from collapsing again, insert a well pipe. An inexpensive sewer base pipe has proven itself here. At the lower end of the pipe, you should slit the material roughly so that the water can flow in later.

Tip: You can also use special well pipes equipped with filters.

3 Now continue working with the valve drill as already described. It will take some time before the well pipe is filled with ground water. Help with the garden hose and flood the pipe so that there is enough water.

4 Once access to the groundwater has been established, a pump is required to be able to bring the water to the surface. Suction or deep well pumps can be used. These can be placed above the ground.

Tip: The hose end of the pump should not reach the bottom so that sand and soil are not sucked in.

Garden pumps can pump water from depths of around seven meters. Waterproof submersible pumps are an alternative. Garden pumps should be installed weatherproof or should be removed in winter and stored frost-proof.