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Dousing For Water, Wells And Boreholes

Posted by joeirish , 01 March 2015 · 1,165 views

So although we had received our planning permission we had to wait four weeks in case there were any objections. During that time we decided to deal with one of the planning conditions, that there was a suitable water supply.

We had made the decision that we wanted a site with our own water supply. We have that at the moment and like the control we have over the quality and things like fluoridation. Also with proposed water charges coming soon and our desire to stay 'off grid' as much as possible we needed a site above the water supply for Mountshannon. And this site was in such a location. All we had to do was to demonstrate to the planning officer that we have a viable supply of fresh water. This could be done by drilling a borehole. And we knew just the man. It would be a gamble because we did not yet own the site and if there was not a suitable water supply then we would not be allowed to build and would not proceed with the site purchase. But it was going to cost about €2500 just to find out if there was water there or not. And there was no other way to check than to pay somebody to sink a borehole.

So we went to see Liam Flannery, a local man who drilled for water. He had been doing this for many years and we knew he had a good reputation. And he only lived a couple of miles away.

The next day Liam met us on site. He had put in the boreholes for neighbouring houses and was confident that we would get a good supply. Out came the hazel twigs, Liam used the old method of dousing to determine where to drill. He soon found a spot and said he would find water about 150 feet down. Arrangements were made for him to bring his rig and do the business. A few days later we had our borehole, 180 feet down. Good water flowing at an estimated rate of 1000 litres per hour. We would need to have the water analysed to satisfy the planning condition but as it was from the same source as one neighbour and his water was fine, this did not seem likely to be an issue.

Attached Image
The drilling rig on site.

So another small step on the way to building our new house. But then we began to hear about the new planning regulations that were to be introduced in a few months. And that caused some worries.

Well done.

Dousing is an art I find I can do. As someone from a scientific / engineering background it kind of annoys me that I don't know how it works, but it certainly does.

Surely planning changes due to come in a few months time should not affect you as you have your planning sorted out?
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Thanks, I too am amazed by dousing. How the hell does it work (also speaking as a scientist?)

Regarding the new regs, well I'll blog about what happened next time. But at the time (Sept/Oct 2013) it was unclear what the situation was and what we would need to do in relation to the new regs that were about to come into law in March 2014. The issue was would be get started in time? At this point in time we still didn't own the site.
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02 Mar 2015 11:51 AM
My dad taught me to douse - I say 'taught' loosely. I stopped pretty quickly because the reaction of whatever I held was violent, and thus painful.

Like having access to unpasteurised milk and cheese, having your own water source gives a real connection to where you live: an added incentive to live carefully. I'm a bit jealous. Good luck!
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Our neighbour had a 90m bore hole sunk on his finca ,

the guy knocked at my door and asked I would like one , I asked him how dose he know if there is water below -- he snapped a branch off my olive tree and said using this !

I thought he was going to say he had some high tech equipment to find it --- not !

Anyway I didn't have it done because I know other peoples wells around my area only produce saline water .

Its great you have found good water , nice not to rely on the water company !

Tony Alicante Spain
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