Do you have the right to dig a well at home?

The rare rains, the heat, the growing awareness of climate change and the repeated fires remind us how precious water is. While several French cities have been without drinking water for a few days and the restrictions on the water are increasing, many of us wonder about our consumption. What if digging a well in your garden were the beginning of a solution? Find out the administrative procedures that need to be done before you start.

What does the law say about wells?

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You want to dig a well in your garden to water your plants, flush your toilet or your washing machine ? It is very possible. Indeed, according to the Environmental Code, the drilling of a well by an individual is allowed by law, as long as it takes place on her property. So it is a good way to get free water for your daily needs. On the other hand, be careful, this water taken from the superficial groundwater remains unsuitable for food consumption.

How do I know if there is water under my land?

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In the 1950s and 1960s, the drinking water network was democratized throughout France. As a result, many wells were blocked. Nowadays, with the rise in the price of water, many people are wondering if they could dig one on their land.

To find out, several clues can guide you. to start with ask your neighbors closest if they have their own well or borehole in their yard. This could be a good indication. Also visit the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM). You can do that on his site consult geological maps which will inform you of your dowser’s wealth of water. Finally, another traditional solution is to: call a dowser to flush out the presence of groundwater or underground running water. A long neglected tradition that is slowly coming back to life.

What administrative procedures do I have to go through before digging?

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You now know from a reliable source that your country is suitable for hosting a borehole. All you need to do is complete some administrative formalities before starting your project. In particular, you must notify three services:

  • The Town Hall. Your project must be declared to the town hall at least one month before the start of the work. To do this, you must complete a work declaration form and an extract from the land register that is available here. All documents must be sent by registered post with acknowledgment of receipt.
  • Operators of underground networks. The second step is to report your project to the underground network operators. This can be done online here.
  • The Dreal. If your drilling is more than 10 meters deep, you must report this to the regional directorate for Environment, Development and Housing (Dreal) at least 1 month before the start of the work.

Finally, if you plan to use water from your well, analyzes by an accredited laboratory are mandatory. At the latest 1 month after the end of the work, you must declare the work performed and add the results of your well water analyses on the original form work statement”we can read on the site of the public service.

You now know the steps to take before drilling your well. But remember that the most ecological and economical solution is to collect rainwater. Check out our six tips to get you started in this article.

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