Standards & Ethics

Standards & Ethics

DRILLING STANDARDS AND PRICING

There is no effective management of drilling quality standards in Zimbabwe. This means that minimum drilling standards are not always adhered to and a customer who pays a deposit to drill a hole is very much at the mercy of the driller. The cost of a borehole is not sufficient to justify court action by a dissatisfied customer. Furthermore the quality of the product is variable so that a customer who obtains comparative quotes is not comparing identical products. It is very likely that the driller who provides the cheapest quote does not adhere to the minimum standards necessary to ensure that the borehole will last.

Before selecting your driller it is advisable to check the following:

  • Did he provide a written quotation?
  • Does the price include casing to the bottom of the hole? The circumstances in which casing to the bottom is not necessary are very limited.
  • Is the driller an established operator with an established reputation or is he a recent arrival from a neighbouring country who is here to make some quick money at your expense then disappear when there is a problem?Is he registered with the tax authorities? If he is not then he probably does not intend to stay in one place for very long.
  • Does the quote include the cost of the requisite application to the Water Catchment Council (Form GW1) and does it include the production and submission of the necessary Drilling Report on completion (Form GW2B)?
  • How strong is the casing? Class 10 PVC is the minimum acceptable standard. Classes 6 and even 4 casing are frequently used but they have a tendency to distort or crack which can result in borehole collapse and pump loss.
  • What is the diameter of the casing? Anything less than 140mm is likely to cause problems in the future. “Mini” or “Micro” boreholes with 125mm or 110 mm casing are a risk because the pump may get stuck.
  • Will the casing be closed at the bottom and what screen will be used to allow the ingress of the water?
  • Will you be refunded your full deposit if the hole is not completed due to collapse or machine failure?
  • Will the driller backfill the annulus (the space between the casing and the side of the hole) with screened sand after inserting the casing?
  • In the event of it being necessary to double case part of the hole due to adverse drilling conditions what will the extra cost of that casing be per metre?
  • Does the driller intend to use an independent and objective site surveyor or is he planning to select the site himself?
  • Does the quote include the cost of the necessary written site survey report?