Borehole Clearance

Borehole Clearance

Borehole Clearance

What is a borehole clearance?

A borehole clearance refers to the process of obtaining legal permission or clearance to drill or construct a borehole, typically extracting for ground water. It involves complying with regulations and obtaining the necessary permits, licenses, or approves from relevant authorities before commencing the drilling operation.

Here are some key aspects of borehole clearance:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Borehole drilling is subject to regulations and guidelines set up by local, regional, or nation authorities. These regulations are in place to ensure the sustainable and responsible extraction of groundwater and to protect water resources. Borehole clearance involves understanding and adhering to the specific regulatory requirements related to drilling, construction, and water extraction.
  • Permitting and Licensing: Depending on the jurisdiction, obtaining permits or licenses may be required before drilling a borehole. This may involve submitting applications, providing relevant documentation, and paying associated fees. The permit or license ensures that the drilling operation meets specific technical standards, environmental considerations, and safety requirements.
  • Environmental Considerations: Borehole clearance may involve assessing potential environmental impacts associated with drilling activities. This includes evaluating the potential risks to groundwater quality, nearby ecosystems, and surrounding infrastructure. Environmental impact assessments or studies may be required, and mitigation measures may need to be implemented to minimise any adverse effects.
  • Water Rights and Ownership: In some jursiditcions, obtaining borehole clearance may also involve demonstrating the legal rights to extract and use the groundwater. This may require proving ownership of the land where the borehole will be located or obtaining water rights or permits that grant authority to access and use the ground water resources.
  • Consultation and Notification: Depending on the jurisdiction and local reguations, it may be necessary to notify or consult with relevant stakeholders, such as neighbouring landowners, community representatives, or water authorities. This ensures transparency, addresses potential concerns, and allows for the exchange of information related to the drilling operation.
  • Inspections and Compliance Monitoring: Once a borehole is drilled, authorities may conduct inspections or monitoring visits to ensure compliance with regulations, permit conditions, and technical standards. These inspections help verify that the borehole construction meets the required specifications, and that the extraction of groundwater is being carried out responsibly.

Borehole clearance is essential to ensure that borehole drilling activities are conducted in a regulated and responsible manner. It helps protect water resources, prevents adverse environmental impacts, and ensure the safety and sustainability of groundwater extraction. The specific requirements for obtaining borehole clearance may vary depending on the jurisdiction and local regulations governing water resources management and drilling activities.

Why is a borehole clearance needed?

A borehole clearance is needed for several reasons:

  • Feasibility Assessment: Before drilling a borehole, a clearance is necessary to asess the feasability of the proposed location. This involves evaluating geological conditions, hydrological considerations, and other factors to determine if the site is suitable for drilling and if it is likely to yield a sufficient quantity and quality of water.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Borehole clearnce ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and permits necessary for drilling operations. Many jurisdictions have specific regulations governing the drilling and use of boreholes to protect water resources and ensure responsible groundwater extraction. Obtaining the required permits and adhering to regulations is essential to avoid legal issues and penalties.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: A clearance survey includes an assessment of potential environmental impacts associated with drilling activities. This evaluation helps identify and mitigate any adverse effects on ecosystems, surface waterbodies, and other environmental resources. It ensures that drilling operations are conducted in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • Water Resource Management: Borehole clearances play a crucial role in water resource management. Assessing the feasibility and impact of borehole drilling helps ensure the sustainable use of groundwater resources. By evaluating factors such as groundwater availability, recharge rates, and potential impacts on existing water sources, clearances help prevent overexploitation and ensure the long-term viability of water supplies.
  • Risk Mitigation: A clearance survey helps identify potential risks and challenges associated with borehole drilling. This includes assessing geological hazards, water quality concerns, and risks to infrastructure and neighbouring properties. By identifying an addressing these risks upfront, proper measures can be taken to mitigate them and ensure the safety of the drilling operation.
  • Planning and Cost Considerations: Borehole clearances assist in effective planning and budgeting for drilling projects. They provide evaluable information about the site, including the depth, diameter, and construction requirements of the borehole. This helps in deterring the appropriate equipment, materials, and resources needed for the drilling operation, ensuring efficient project management and cost control.

Overall, a borehole clearance is essential to make informed decisions, ensure regulatory compliance, protect the environment, and promote sustainable water resource management. It provides a comprehensive assessment of the proposed drilling site and helps minimise risks, maximise4 water yield, and maintain the long-term viability of groundwater sources.

A borehole clearance is a survey or clearance performed before undertaking any intrusive digging or borehole drilling. This is to ensure that no obstacles or services are present in the dig area.

Borehole clearance surveys are performed by expert surveyors to ensure safety when drilling or digging borehole areas. This is because like many other surveys they are accompanied by risks.

The borehole area will be clearly marked out by the site surveyor. If a planned a borehole location appears to be in the area of a buried utility, an alternative location will be suggested and cleared by the surveyor.

Utility records should always be available prior to any clearance works taking place. Conducting a borehole clearance survey dramatically reduces the risk of a cable strike during the digging process.


  • Commercial borehole clearance
  • Water well borehole clearance
  • Domestic borehole clearances
  • Piling clearances
  • Agricultural clearances
  • Ground structure clearance
  • Environmental window sampling