What is the AWDROP?
The Association of Water well Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (Borehole Drillers Association) consists of companies and individuals engaged in well construction, test pumping, maintenance and rehabilitation. It is also open to manufacturers and materials suppliers also a number of our members act as distributors for well-related equipment including pumps and Drilling Rigs. The Association mainly acts as a forum for members to discuss the industry, technical specifications, contract problems, training and the potential impact of legislation on the industry. It also maintains close contacts with the Ministry of Water Resources, the Nigeria Integrated Water Regulatory Management Commission NIWRMC, Nation Water Resources Institute (NWRI) and the various Water Authorities and Water Companies in states.

Does the AWDROP  publish a Specification for water well drilling?
The AWDROP web site contains Code of Practice for the Construction of Boreholes for Water Supply which provides guidance for well drillers and clients on what is good practice from contractual arrangements, technical considerations, related specifications and water resources legislation. The Guidance Notes are not currently binding on the AWDROP members due to the varied nature of site and geological conditions but they are expected to follow them wherever possible.

Can you put me in touch with my local well driller?
The AWDROP web site contains a list of well drilling organizations who are members with details of addresses, telephone, e-mail references as well as contact names. Most AWDROP members operate nationally so their office address and the distance to your site is not always relevant. As an association the AWDROP cannot give preference to one Member over another.

How do I draw up a contract and specification for a borehole?
The AWDROP Nationally adopted Code of Practice for the Construction of Boreholes for Water Supply contains information about what is required in a borehole. Any drilling organization should produce a written estimate fully detailing the construction and expected depth of the borehole, the installation proposed including the method of sealing the borehole against surface contamination and the pump and headwork detail. Any additional work should be detailed and costed in writing during site work not afterwards.

How big a borehole do I need?
A normal domestic borehole usually has a maximum diameter of 150mm although boreholes with a finished diameter of 100mm or 125mm can be used with certain ground conditions to accommodate a 100mm

How much space is needed for the construction of a borehole?
Except for the shallowest boreholes the minimum working area required is generally 20 metres by 15 metres with access to the borehole location being suitable for a large lorry mounted drilling rig. Wet drilling slurry must either be disposed of on site or taken away in a skip or by tanker.

What about borehole contamination?
The main source of borehole contamination is from leaking septic and fuel tanks and from animals kept close to the borehole location. All borehole installations must be properly sealed below ground level either by grouting or concreting a steel casing into a clay type zone or into rock head or by sealing any UPVC casing or well screen to at least 5 metres below ground level. The AWDROP Code of Practice for Construction of Boreholes for Water Supply provides good general advice on contamination protection, including the recommended methods for manhole construction.

Is treatment necessary?
Water must be ‘potable’ i.e. it must be safe and of drinkable quality. Any new borehole supply should be tested by a local public health laboratory. In many cases the water will require no treatment. However, if there is any evidence of bacterial contamination, an ultraviolet (UV) sterilization unit and pre-filter should be installed. This uses UV light to kill the bacteria, and make the water safe and does not taint the water. If the water is turbid – muddy or cloudy with suspended particles – in-line filters can be used to provide good clear water. If the general public is likely to drink water from the supply, it is recommended that UV sterilization unit is installed to demonstrate that all possible steps have been taken to eliminate possible risks.

How do I complain about the workmanship of a AWDROP member (and non-members)?
Detail the site location, the contractors name and contact number, the nature of the problem. Ask whether the contractor has been advised of the complaint and what his response was. Advice the AWDROP Secretary of the details and the Secretary or the Chairman in the state will respond. It is advisable that the general public do not patronise the Quackery or non registered members parading themselves as members of the association as the association will not entertain report from any client whose job is handled by non AWDROP member.


Quacks have infiltrated the water business



The National President of AWDROP – The Association of Water Well (Borehole) Drilling Rig Owners & Practitioners, Mr. Michael Ale, speaks on safe water in commemoration of the World Water Day 2013. Today is World Water Day, of what import is this?

March 22 has been set aside as the world water day. The topic for this year is ‘Water Cooperation’. Two things are happening this year: international year of water cooperation and celebration of World Water Day. It has to do with several things in terms of water and economy, water and your health, water and food production, water and social life and water and infrastructure. This means that there must be cooperation between the different aspects that we have mentioned before we can have safe drinking water.

Without good cooperation it would be very difficult to achieve the set out goals. This year’s celebration has really brought us together because of the need for cooperation at the highest, mid and the lowest levels for us to bring about access to safe drinking water.

It appears the concern of policy makers is just a paper affair as nothing significant has been done?

We have different governments over period of time. There was a time dams were built. Look at the dams that had been built 30 years ago, if you deduct 30 years from the age of our president, you will know how old he was then. What informed the construction of a dam, first, is the need. There must also be cooperation among those who will implement the project, the ministry and the community so there will be no leak. Wherever you have leak, there will be waste and if there is waste, there would be no economic value.

The fact that the president and his vice were at the water forum means there is something coming up on water. There is also cooperation coming up between the water sector and financial institutions. There is the need for sustainable development so that whatever we are doing now will not jeopardise the future generation. Workshop, seminar, conferences on water will go on till eternity.

What should be done to ensure availability of safe drinking water?

There are several stages of water provision. First is identification, you will look at the community and identify the source that is most comfortable whether stream, underground or rain water. Second is construction. You need to have people that are trained on how to design quality water well. Also, depending on the consumption rate, you will build a design that is suitable. In some places, you have chemical infiltration. The farmers cause a lot of pollution with their chemicals but, we can’t say that because they are causing damage to the underground, we would not spray our farms with chemicals. We still do it and rain washes the chemical underground and we still drink the polluted water. How do we now handle it? It has to be tailor-made per individual per area and location.

How safe is the water that people drink and use for domestic purposes?

If not for the cooperation of water producers and the people, we would have been having crisis in this country. People in some cases are not even particular about safe water; they want to have access to water safe or unsafe. It requires holistic management technique.

“So many unprofessional people have infiltrated the business. They look at the business as lucrative. Our association is coming to put decorum into the activities.  Now in America and the rest of the world, there is drilling because there is no alternative to drilling. If you are waiting for a public water system you are mistaken.”

People are sinking boreholes everywhere, what does this portend?

It is not all the wells that have water. What the government should do is have a data on water well (borehole). The water wells that are not functional are more than those that are functioning. This is because so many unprofessional people have infiltrated the business. They look at the business as lucrative. Our association is coming to put decorum into the activities.  Now in America and the rest of the world, there is drilling because there is no alternative to drilling. If you are waiting for a public water system you are mistaken. As a result of increased urbanisation, it is becoming very difficult for us to rely on the public water system.

What should the government do?

They should have a plan to cover up boreholes that are not functional. A lot of people have two, three boreholes that are not functional. Why do they leave it? It is even dangerous because the water would get infiltrated and get into other people’s homes. What is best done is cover it up.

What intervention is your organisation trying to make?

Association of WaterWell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners is a new association where we have drilling contractors coming together to form an amalgamation. We are coming with questionnaire which we have given to members. This is to identify the problems that we are facing in the industry. We have three big problems, which are the client, and then we have many experienced but not skilful members. The third aspect is finance to acquire more equipment suitable for different terrains. You can’t be an expert with just one type of equipment. The public should not patronise those who are not experts.

How are you marking today’s World Water Day?

The Association of WaterWell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP) is looking at possible areas of cooperation with Oyo State Government. Members of our organisation would be coming from other states of the federation. We are going to be having rally and stakeholders’ forum meeting on “Water cooperation”.



Various Experts in the field of borehole drilling and general water issues.


May 2013



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© 2013-2014 Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners & Practitioners (AWDROP). All Rights Reserved


Why not have your own water supply?
With water costs continually escalating and the Environment Agency calling for a water meter in every home and or farm, there has never been a better time to consider having your own private water supply especially in the farming industry.

How much does a Borehole Cost?
The cost of a borehole is dependent on the geological sequence, the nature of the water bearing stratum or aquifer and the depth to standing water in the borehole. It is also dependent on the yield required and the access to the borehole location. Some boreholes require a well screen and a gravel pack to restrict the amount of fine materials pumped through the borehole. It is recommended that you approach drilling contractors that are members of the AWDROP (Water Well( BOREHOLE)Drillers Association) initially for a guide price and to discuss particular requirements that you have and then request a written estimate. Remember to include the cost of the pump, rising main, electrics and discharge in any estimate.

What you should get
The illustration (left, click to enlarge) shows the detail of a typical water well construction complete with installed submersible pump. The illustration does not show the completed headworks, this is to be discussed with the contractor.

Do you need a licence?
In Nigeria, under the Water Act 2008 any borehole or well yielding less than 20 cu. metres per day (4,400 gallons per day) does not currently require a consent to drill and test pump or to extract water up to that limit. For intended yields in excess of 20 cu. metres per day then a Clause  Consent is required from the local regulatory commission or state water resources to drill and test pump any borehole and an extraction licence is required to pump the borehole after the test pumping is completed.
At this stage it is worth noting that you may also require planning permission from your local council, please make sure that you or your drilling contractor ask the question from the relevant council, this should not incur any costs.

Is the quantity or quality of water guaranteed?
The key element to minimize the risk is to obtain as much information as possible prior to committing to a drilling programme, hence the recommendation that a borehole prognosis be obtained. Whilst this is not a guarantee of success, it can highlight risk at an early stage. There will always be an element of risk that no water will be found, and this needs to be fully understood by all parties.

download  code_of_practice_for_borehole_drilling