Cleaning your borehole

Regularly checking for tree roots that grow into a borehole, usually just above the water level but as far down as 15m, can save you a lot of trouble.

To do this, weld a few steel blades to the end of a heavy rod and attach enough strong wire to lower the tool to the bottom.

The blades should be reasonably sharp on the lower surface to cut any roots, and blunt on the upper surface to grab and hold loose material on the upstroke.

Whenever you pull out the delivery pipes for servicing, use the rod to check the depth of the hole and the water level, and the blades to remove roots that might have started to take hold. Insert and remove the rod at least four times to make sure all the roots are out.

Neglecting to do so could allow roots to grow to such an extent that it becomes difficult or impossible to extract the pipes and cylinder. If this happens, it may help to pour in 20l of water to soften the hold the roots have on the pipes.

Also, always have a small mirror at hand. Holding it above the borehole can reflect sunlight inside to see what’s going on at the bottom.

A more long-term reliable solution to the roots problem is to keep the area around the borehole clear of vegetation, using a suitable herbicide.

A cluster of hair roots pulled out by the cleaning tool.
Use a mirror to reflect the sun down the hole.The rod with blades and wire attached.