The Surprising Truth About The Average Cost Of Drilling A Water Well

Matt at Centex Excavation
Author: MattPublished: June 19, 2023 Updated: January 7, 2024 • Filed Under: Excavating and Grading

Key Takeaways

  1. Cost Influencing Factors: The cost of drilling a water well is influenced by factors such as well type, depth, location, and the required equipment, labor, and materials.
  2. Potential Expenses: Drilling costs can range from $5,500 to $10,000, with additional expenses for equipment installation, geology testing, and ongoing maintenance, potentially reaching up to $25,000.
  3. Location and Depth Impact: The location and depth of the well significantly affect the cost, with deeper wells and challenging terrains like rocky soil increasing the overall expenses.

As homeowners, we heavily rely on our water supply systems. Clean water is a must-have for our everyday lives, and one way to ensure its safety is by drilling a water well. Though, let’s face it, drilling a water well can be a costly venture. It’s crucial to have a good understanding of the contributing factors to its expense.

The drilling process can vary in cost depending on several variables. While drilling a well can be expensive, it is an investment in ensuring the quality of your water source. Want to be well-prepared before starting the drilling process? Then, let’s break down the average cost of drilling a water well.

Factors that affect the drilling cost of a water well.

Drilling a well is a multi-faceted process that demands attention to detail and careful planning. After all, the well drilling costs are highly dependent on various factors – from the type of well you need to the depth of the well and more. Uncovering all the layers of complexity involved in well drilling takes a professional’s touch, but understanding the basics is a great start.

  • Well type. The type of well you choose is perhaps your most consequential decision. It’ll automatically dictate how much you spend on your project. For cost-driven people, drilling shallow and sand point wells is more accessible (and affordable) than other options.
  • Well depth. The depth of the well is another significant cost-driving factor in drilling a well. The deeper you need to drill, the more expensive it becomes. The exertion required to reach deeper depths can ramp up your expenses.
  • Equipment, labor, material. To determine the most accurate cost of a well-drilling project, you need to consider a handful of other factors. The cost of equipment, labor, and materials required for installing the pump system will also play a role in budgeting.
  • Additional requirements. Several other aspects, like a storage tank, electric supply lines, pressure tank, and necessary permits, are also required to drill a well. Budgeting for water testing to ensure that your well meets specific regulatory requirements for drinking water is crucial.
  • Well maintenance. Before settling on any specific cost schedule, make sure to account for some of the maintenance costs of wells too. The expenses could include replacing filters, monitoring water quality, and replacing the pump system when necessary.

Once you consider all these factors, you can get a more precise estimate of the cost of your well-drilling project, ensuring you’re making a smart investment.

Potential costs associated with drilling a water well.

Drilling a water well requires careful consideration of potential costs. You must calculate labor costs, drilling costs per foot, equipment costs, and maintenance costs. These expenses can quickly snowball and significantly impact your budget. So, it is necessary to be well-informed before starting any drilling project.

For instance, drilling a water well in a rural area necessitates installing a well and septic system. Installing an electric supply line, pressure tank, pump system, and well pump also goes along with it.

Drilling costs range anywhere between $5,500 to $10,000. Adding it all up with the cost of equipment installation and geology testing, the price could quickly rise to $25,000!

The importance of location in determining the cost of a water well.

Determining the cost of drilling a water well can be a complex process with numerous factors to consider, and the location of the well is a primary consideration. The type of soil, depth of the water table, and proximity to electric supply lines can all affect the cost of drilling a well.

In areas with limited municipal water systems, drilling a well may be the only option for accessing clean drinking water. However, drilling costs can significantly increase in locations with rocky soil or bedrock due to the need for specialized techniques and heavy equipment.

A case study found that drilling a 100-foot-deep well in sandy soil could cost between $15-$20 per foot, while drilling the same well in rocky soil required jackhammers and heavy-duty equipment, costing upwards of $50 per foot. We’ve seen some water well drilling costs here in Texas at the upper end of the cost spectrum due to the rocky earth.

Location can also impact the cost of maintaining a well, as hard water or sediment levels can necessitate additional filtration or treatment systems.

When planning to drill a water well, it is essential to factor in location-specific costs that can impact the initial and ongoing maintenance costs. Collaborating with a dependable well drilling company and investing in high-quality equipment can help to ensure that access to clean, reliable water is maintained for years to come.

The role of depth in determining the cost of a water well.

When it comes to drilling a water well, there’s no doubt that depth is a key driver in deciding the overall cost. Shallow wells are often more economical than deep wells due to the reduced drilling and excavation required, which translates to less drilling equipment.

That said, the cost of drilling a shallow well to roughly 100 feet starts from around $5,000 to $10,000.

The price tag covers the nine yards, ranging from drilling and excavation to equipment installation and connecting the well to a pump system.

Digging a deep well, on the other hand, is more expensive. The depth of a water well primarily depends on the underlying rock and soil formations, which vary depending on the location. For instance, drilling in a granite-rich area can be challenging and thus more costly.

The deeper the well, the more equipment, time, and labor are needed. An electric line to the well pump and a pressure tank is also necessary for the deeper well, and the entire job can cost a fortune, ranging from about $10,000 to over $30,000, depending on specific requirements.

It’s worth noting that prices for drilling a new well vary depending on location, well type, and well-drilling company. Thus, getting a reliable quote from a well expert in your zone is wise before deciding on your investment. And even then, some unanticipated surprises can crop up along the way.

Additional costs to consider when drilling a water well.

When budgeting for drilling a water well, a few extra costs may surprise you. Knowing these costs to budget accurately and avoid any financial surprises is essential.

The first additional cost to consider is installing a pump system to bring the water up from the well. Depending on the size and type of pump, this alone can cost between $1,000 to $2,500. You’ll also need a pressure tank to store and regulate the water pressure, costing you an additional $500 to $1,500. Of course, water storage tank cost can vary based on the size and features you want.

But the costs don’t stop there. Testing the water for quality and safety is another crucial consideration. The price of water testing can range from $50 to $200 depending on the number and complexity of the tests. But getting your water tested regularly is essential, so budget accordingly.

Don’t forget the cost of running electrical supply lines to power the pump and pressure tank. This can vary depending on how far your well is from your home, the wiring used, and any necessary permits. Make sure to account for this when calculating your total costs.

Lastly, ongoing maintenance costs for your well and septic system are another thing to remember. This may include annual inspections, water testing, and repairs as needed. Choosing a reliable well drilling company that can provide ongoing support and maintenance is necessary.

Accurately budgeting for drilling a water well means considering these additional costs. Doing so can avoid unexpected expenses and ensure your well is safe and functional for years.

Comparing the cost of drilling a water well to other water sources.

Are you among the millions of people lacking access to municipal water systems? If you are, you’ve probably considered drilling a water well to solve your water needs.

However, have you ever wondered whether it’s cost-effective? Let’s look at the cost of drilling a water well and compare it to other water sources.

First, let’s talk about bottled water. It may seem simple and economical, but it can quickly add up, especially if you have a large family or live in an area with a low water supply. Suppose your family drinks a gallon of water daily; you’ll have to purchase 365 gallons of bottled water per year, which could cost you more than $500.

Another alternative is installing a rainwater harvesting system. This option can be cost-effective over time but requires an initial investment of between $1,500 to $10,000. And, of course, you must also factor in system maintenance costs, such as cleaning and routine check-ups.

On top of that, some states such as Colorado, have restrictions on the collection of rainwater.

When compared to these alternatives, drilling a water well can be a smart investment – in the long run.

Even though the upfront costs may be high, a water well can provide safe, clean, and uninterrupted drinking water for several years with proper installation and maintenance. Why not invest in something that saves money and guarantees a reliable water supply?

Budgeting for the cost of drilling a water well.

One important factor to consider when drilling a water well is your budget. The total cost of drilling a well can vary depending on various factors, including the location, depth, and type of pump system required. This can make it quite challenging to accurately estimate the cost.

We recommend getting quotes from multiple well drilling companies in your area to get a clearer idea of what to expect regarding cost. These companies can provide a comprehensive breakdown of the potential costs, allowing you to build a more robust budget plan.

For example, we heard about a family living in rural Nebraska who obtained quotes from two well-drilling companies for their property. The estimates they received ranged from $7,000 to $10,000, with additional charges for items like the pressure tank, solar-powered pump, and water testing. They ultimately chose the company that offered the lower quote since it fell within their budget.

Aside from the cost of drilling the well, it is also important to factor in ongoing maintenance costs, such as labor and power, to run the pump. On average, the depth of a water well ranges from 100 to 400 feet, with drilling costs usually coming in between $15 to $30 per foot.

Setting a budget for drilling a water well is critical to ensuring the process goes smoothly. Getting multiple quotes from well-drilling companies can help you anticipate the expected costs and choose a company within your budget.

Strategies for reducing the cost of drilling a water well.

Looking to drill a water well? You can cut costs without sacrificing quality. Here are a few ways to do it.

  • Consider shallow well or sand point wells. These types of wells are typically cheaper than deep wells. Plus, they might work just fine for your needs.
  • Installing a solar-powered well pump. If you have access to sunlight, this can help with the cost of drilling your well.
  • Seek help from the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). They offer resources that might help you lower the cost of drilling and provide valuable information for better management of your water well system.
  • Partnering with your well drilling company can also help. See if any options can save you money or negotiate the cost. Maybe finance the cost of drilling across a more extended period, or trade off some non-essential aspects of the system.

It’s important to remember that the overall cost of drilling a well is determined by multiple factors such as drilling processes, storage tanks, and maintenance. Be sure to conduct extensive research before drilling a well so that you can adequately prepare for the cost of it.

The factors that determine the cost of maintaining a water well.

A few factors may affect the cost of maintaining a water well. These aren’t necessarily all-inclusive, but they’re worth a starting point so you know how much to budget.

  • Depth of the well. The deeper the well, the more costly it is to maintain, as there will be additional costs for drilling deeper and accessing sub-surface water.
  • Location. The cost of maintaining a water well can also vary depending on your location; in some places, the prices may be higher due to factors like climate or terrain.
  • Type of pump system. The type used to draw water from your well can impact how much it will cost to maintain it.
  • Well inspection frequency. How often you have your well inspected by a professional can affect maintenance costs as they must ensure everything is operating correctly and safely.
  • Age of your system. If your system is old and outdated, you may experience increased costs associated with repairs or replacements due to wear and tear.
  • Water usage levels. Higher volume wells require more energy resources, meaning higher monthly energy bills.

Several factors may alter these estimates, but understanding the costs of drilling and maintaining a water well can help you prepare for what to expect. Researching quotes, budgeting, and considering alternative options are all key steps in ensuring you have an efficient and cost-effective system in the long run.

With careful planning and research into the total cost of drilling a well, you can ensure that your well meets your needs at an affordable price.

Dig your well and save money when you do it.

Drilling a water well can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce the cost. Shallow and sand point wells are cheaper than deep ones while installing a solar-powered pump can also help with costs. Additionally, seeking assistance from organizations like the National Ground Water Association may lower expenses.

Negotiating with your chosen drilling company for special rates or longer payment plans might make all the difference in keeping within budget. Ultimately, it pays off to do thorough research before making any decisions so you know what kind of financial commitment is required for this project. With careful planning and diligent preparation, you’ll have no problem finding success when drilling your water well.

About the Author

Matt Avatar


Excavation Expert

Matt is a highly experienced heavy equipment operator with over two decades of experience in the construction industry. His expertise covers a wide range of machinery and project types, and he is known for his focus on safety, efficiency, and problem-solving. Matt's commitment to delivering high-quality work within deadlines and budgets has made him highly respected at Centex Excavation and the excavation industry.

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