Drilling a well may be done as part of new home construction, an improvement project or because you no longer want to get your water from the municipality.
Whatever your reason, you will want to know what kind of costs you are facing.
Although every project will be different with varying types and depths of well, there are a few basic costs that will give you an idea of how much a well costs.
Average Cost Of Drilling A Well
The average cost to drill a well depends on a number of factors.
How deep the well needs to be, the material to be drilled through and what type of casing is being used.
A typical residential well will be between 100-300 feet and 6 inches in diameter.
An average cost will be around $9,000-$12,000 for a complete water system which includes drilling.
Cost Per Foot For Drilling A Well By Type
Drilling an artesian well will cost between $35-$85 per foot. The casing for the well will be an additional $6-$130 per foot depending on the material it’s made from, PVC or steel.
Artesian wells don’t need a pump as the water is confined in the rock layers under pressure.
Once the well is drilled and the casing installed, the water from an artesian well will start to flow naturally.
They cost more to drill, and a very specific location is necessary, but they require much less maintenance and no electricity is needed.
A residential well will cost between $15-$30 per foot for drilling. The process is quite straightforward. The borehole is drilled, and a casing installed, this may be PVC or steel.
It is then connected to your water lines and the water is pumped into your property.
Before drilling a residential well you will need a permit. Your contractor may include the fee of the permit in his pricing.
Typically, this will cost between $300-$500, but this can depend on the municipality.
Agricultural Or Irrigation Well
An agricultural irrigation or well costs around $25-$50 per foot for drilling or $85-105 per foot for a total installation.
A high yield commercial agricultural well will cost between $50,000-$100,000 for drilling and casing.
These wells need a much larger borehole and need to be drilled to a greater depth as the volume of water needed is around 6 gallons per minute per acre.
A drill permit is required in most states and there are limits placed on how much water can be pumped out.
Sand Point Well
This type of well is not suitable for long term water supply and is only a temporary solution for irrigation.
Sand point wells don’t normally go deeper than 25 feet. A pipe is drilled into the ground and pumps water from water-bearing sand.
The water has to be pumped slowly as it passes through a filter to screen it and if pumped quickly will clog the filter.
The cost of a sand point well is around $200-$1,500. Although they are not suitable for long term use they are good for irrigating gardens.
A geothermal well involves sinking pipes filled with ethanol into the ground to provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
They are typically 6 inches in diameter and are sunk 150-400 feet into the ground.
Drilling costs between $15-$40 per foot, but geothermal well drillers are scarce, so you may pay more if you can’t find someone locally.
An average home would need 3-5 of these boreholes drilled to provide adequate heating and cooling.
This cost is just for the drilling, the installation of a geothermal heat pump will cost between $25,000-$35,000.
Breakdown Of Costs
Boring a hole in the ground to find a water source is known as drilling a well.
The cost of this service will depend on the depth that the well needs to be drilled and the material that has to be drilled through.
The depth of the well will be the single biggest variable in pricing the cost of drilling a well.
Prices are quoted by the foot and the average is around $10 per foot at the lower end of the scale.
For bigger projects or commercial wells, the cost may be $30 per foot.
The casing is the actual pipe that the pumped water from the well travels through to your property or in the case of irrigation to the surface.
Casings can be made from PVC or various grades of steel such as galvanized, stainless steel or black steel.
The job of the casing is to protect the water from the surface contaminants.
Costs vary according to the material used in the casing but will be between $6-$130 per foot. PVC is the cheapest option while stainless steel is the most expensive for casing.
Grout is the sealant around the well casing and has to conform to local or state regulations.
The grout will be a form of concrete or clay bentonite and its purpose is to stop surface water from entering the casing and contaminating the water supply.
A depth of around twenty to fifty feet of grout is usually needed between the borehole and the sides of the well casing.
This prevents surface or upper table water getting into the casing.
The grout is pumped under pressure as a viscous bentonite clay or concrete.
So with the information that you now have you can start to budget for your new well.
Drilling a well is an investment and hopefully something you will only have to do once.
Therefore, it is worth taking the time to look at all the options available to you before deciding.
We hope this guide has been of use to you in making a decision about the cost of a well and what is involved in the process.