View Full Version : Bore water answers needed please!

09-01-10, 09:55 AM
After 16 years of agisting we have finally bought our own property (yay!)!
The property has a bore on it, which hasn't been used for some time.Apparently it was used to pump water into a dam on top of a hill (called a turkeys nest dam??)for cattle to drink from. The turkeys nest is now empty.
We have no experience at all with bore water.We are planing on getting a sample tested with SWEP laboratories to check its ok for the horses to drink.

We were thinking of pumping the water into a tank that could then be used for the horses, but someone said you can't store bore water in a tank too long?? Does anyone know if thats right? We are concerned that if we were to pump it into the turkeys nest we'll lose a lot to evaporation?

Also my horses have only ever drunk town or dam water so any tips on transitioning to bore water would be appreciated!
As we are complete bore water dummies any advice would be gladly received!!
Thanks in advance!

09-01-10, 10:13 AM
I cant help you with the storage question, but do get it tested.. your local pump type shop can do it. They will answer all your questions for you :)

We moved to our first bore water site and the horses dug straight in. The quality varies in ours, sometimes there is a lot of sediment and the taps with the copper pipes STINK if you leave them for a while.. in the bungalow.

I use it to keep the dam at a reasonable level over summer and on the garden as well, oh and through the washing machine when the tanks get too low.

Cant imagine life without being able to hold a hose now .. how lucky are we!

09-01-10, 10:25 AM
G'day CC

Given you are using the term turkey's nest I presume you are in QLD or there abouts, if cattle drank the water than it will be fine for horses. You would be wasting your money by installing a tank - that is what a turkey's nest is! You just refill it when you need to from the bore. It is designed to hold water and as it is on a hill I presume gravity feed troughs around the property. Depending on how much stock you have on and how big the turkey's nest is it will also give you a day or two's grace if/when (and they all do!) the bore breaks down.

How does the bore operate? submersible pump, windmill (hope not for your sake!) or mono pump? If I were you I would be pumping (lol 'scuse the pun) all the info I can from the previous owner, do you have any evidence the bore is still operational?

A couple of things to do straight up:
1. Go to your state water resources authority and you will be able to get info on the depth of your bore, when it was put down and other info (all bores and attempted bores have to registered).
2. Get bore bloke out to have a look and probably pull up whatever is down the hole (rods, casing and foot valve, pump etc ) and have the lot serviced and checked.
3. If the bore is run by a windmill start looking at clearing sales notices for pump jacks, you will have a wind drought at one stage or another and will need one!

Let us know how you go


09-01-10, 10:30 AM
Well get it tested.

Your bore should also be tested by the local pump shop as well. What kind of pump is it?

They will also check air tank pressure and what not as that is crucial for your bore to run efficiently.

The person who comes out should do a full test on your bore. Eg check lime levels, calcium, iron, etc. If it's too high in any of those then there could be trouble.

Can you tell me is there any orange/tan coloured build up (Like a few centimeteres thick) on any taps or anything in which the bore water is used?

And the question about storage is that it does no matter how long you store bore water. However, get it tested. Bores with lots of Iron Bacteria rust out tanks however the iron bacteria can be treated to an extent.

But please please please get it fully tested and have someone come out and look at it and test it etc. (Should be around $80?)


(oh and the only reason I know this is because Dad's a proffession is Irrigation and Pump Mechanics. )

09-01-10, 10:34 AM
When we had a bore what we did was pump it into the tank (usually needed to fill it up every couple of weeks) and then gravity fed the troughs from the tank, that way the pump wasn't being used much so saved on electricty etc too. The horses should drink it fine (get it tested first) but keep a watch for anyone not drinking and you may need to mix some town or rain water (which ever you have) with it for a bit till they get used to it.

09-01-10, 11:16 AM
First of all get the bore test pumped and check the casing,maybe they stopped using it because of a problem,at the same time test the water,all our stock drink bore water with no known problems because that's all there is.Also check if the bore is licensed and if there is a water allocation,in NSW that will probably be 8 mgs,stock and domestic,it should be on the deeds as part of the transfer.Much better to pump to a tank and feed troughs from it,that also means that you've got water for other purposes eg firefighting and believe me when the power goes off you'll be grateful for a bucket full to flush the loo!A submersible pump is the best way to go,if there is no power to the site consider solar,windmills are great ,we use them BUT you have to be able to service them,I think there is nothing nicer than the sound of a mill pumping.If you go with a tank fence it off,nothing a horse likes better than a good old scratch.Good luck.

09-01-10, 01:24 PM
All good advice above, everyone has said get it tested and yes they will then answer all of your questions. We had bore water at our old place. Quite good quality but we used it for the house too, unfiltered :rolleyes: All out whites came out of the wash peachy coloured, the dishwasher trays all turned brown, gawd knows what it did to the taps! A valuable resource for sure, but get it tested and filtered as necessary. Oh, and around here, you are not allowed to fill dams with bore water, not sure why. Might be something to do with water courses? I am sure the turkeys nest thing is ok ?

09-01-10, 02:53 PM
We have 3 excellent quality bores here at home and 1 on a windmill that fills a tank and the overflow is piped into the dam.

The 3 with great quality are all used in the house and for washing (all unfiltered) and filling tanks and for stock use.

One bore is in the house yard (2nd to be dug), the first bore is on the boundary fence (1st hole) and the 3rd bore is about 100m behind the house.

The hole on the boundary is about 50m away from our neighbours who have 1 bore and no dam and no townwater. That bore should be filled in because it is toxic to humans and animals. They have to tank water in on a 3 week basis pretty much. :(

A great great great resource to have :)


09-01-10, 04:37 PM
We've got 3 bores on our place. We don't actually have any tank water at the moment, all the house, paddocks and gardens are watered from the bores. There is a big bore that was used for irrigation, but because the previous owners didn't use their allocation the licence was cut back. So it's not equipped for use any more. We have a bore that is pumped by a windmill into a tank. The house is supplied from the tank via a pressure pump and the overflow goes into a dam. The other bore has an electric pump on top and supplies all the paddocks and gardens.
The water is clean, doesn't smell or stain things and is OK to drink. None of the water is filtered, we just use it straight from the tap and the horses love it. In other parts of town the water is brownish, stains clothes, hair and buildings and smells of sulphur. That is the water you get at the local showgrounds and the horses aren't too fond of it.
Windmils are great. The only trouble is finding someone who knows how to service them. It's a bit of a dying art.

09-01-10, 07:41 PM
My friend has a bore on their place and the water is clean and great.

I cant see a problem with your horses transfering to UNCHEMICAL treated water - actually it will be BETTER for their health as the chemicals they put in water inhibit the uptake of alot of natural minerals!!! (pretty much why I hate the stuff and refuse to drink it).

10-01-10, 02:47 PM
Thanks everyone, some great advice there! I will get our local pump shop guy out to take a look at it (it had a windmill sometime before we bought the place but is gone now). Glad to hear not many problems with horses taking to bore water.

10-01-10, 10:02 PM
We had to resink an old bore with new casing a few years back as the water table had dropped so low that the original bore was 90' too short!

Had the water tested and it was pretty good....we pump it into a dam and then transfer throughout the property to the stock troughs. Have never had a problem. When you have it tested ask about the tank storage...I would assume that unless it was heavy with iron it would be OK ???