Commercial water well for a dairy farm

A dairy farmer facing eye watering annual water bills contracted Igne's drilling specialists to install a commercial water well for his 3,000 cow herd.

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Supplying sufficient clean water for dairy cows is critical to ensure milk yield.

Not only will insufficient water lead to reduced food intake and lower milk yields, it will cause cattle to lose condition quickly.

How much water does a lactating cow need?

Considering milk is composed of almost 87% water, a lactating dairy cow needs at least 60 litres of water each day to keep her yield up – with high milk yielding cattle needing up to 100 litres a day.

Igne was contacted by a dairy farmer in the South West of England to bore for water.

The farmer was running a herd of 3,000 cows, and his water supply couldn’t keep up with his cows’ demand.

The farmer had previously used another drilling company in an attempt to reduce his eye watering mains water bill, but they had been unsuccessful in finding a usable supply.  Despite drilling five boreholes around the farm, they were unable to help.

The value of a borehole pronosis report

As the client had commissioned a basic borehole prognosis report in the past, he provided Igne with the information and asked for advice and a quote.

The geology of the area consists of clay and mudstone and needed to be drilled in a specific way to prevent the drill cuttings smearing the sides of the borehole and preventing water entering the borehole.

Igne mobilised a rotary rig to site and drilled a 40M deep borehole, knowing that deeper drilling in that particular area of the country could encounter saline water.

The borehole was lined and packed before a full bentonite seal was installed to protect the aquifer from surface contamination.

Pump testing proved a yield of 4,500 litres per hour, which was used to supply the plate cooler and heat exchanger.

A full hydrogeological report will now be prepared to explore the viability of drilling multiple boreholes on the farm to provide a larger supply.

As the client already has an abstraction license, this will allow him to take more than the 20,000 litre a day limit.