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drillmyborewell.com may revise these terms and conditions from time-to-time. Revised terms and conditions will apply to the use of this website from the date of the publication of the revised terms and conditions on this website. Please check this page regularly to ensure you are familiar with the current version.

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If a provision of these terms and conditions is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other provisions will continue in effect. If any unlawful and/or unenforceable provision would be lawful or enforceable if part of it were to be modified, that part will be deemed to be modified, close to its original intent, in order to meet legal sanction, and the rest of the provision will continue in effect.

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The drilling/digging of bore wells in terms of the advice provided herein shall be subject to the regulations and laws framed by the Government of India and the local state governments and authorities from time to time.

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drillmyborewell.com will take appropriate steps to protect the information you share with us. We have implemented technology and security features and strict policy guidelines to safeguard the privacy of your personally identifiable information from unauthorized access and improper use or disclosure.drillmyborewell.com will continue to enhance our security procedures as new technology becomes available and as per the needs and passage of time.

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Thank you for using drillmyborewell.com



How Do Hydrologists Locate Groundwater?

Using scientific methods to locate water
To locate groundwater accurately and to determine the depth, quantity, and quality of the water, several techniques must be used, and a target area must be thoroughly tested and studied to identify hydrologic and geologic features important to the planning and management of the resource. The landscape may offer clues to the hydrologist about the occurrence of shallow groundwater. Conditions for large quantities of shallow groundwater are more favorable under valleys than under hills. In some regions--in parts of the arid Southwest, for example--the presence of "water-loving" plants, such as cottonwoods or willows, indicates groundwater at shallow to moderate depth. Areas where water is at the surface as springs, seeps, swamps, or lakes reflect the presence of groundwater, although not necessarily in large quantities or of usable quality.

Geology is the key

Rocks are the most valuable clues of all. As a first step in locating favorable conditions for groundwater development, the hydrologist prepares geologic maps and cross sections showing the distribution and positions of the different kinds of rocks, both on the surface and underground. Some sedimentary rocks may extend many miles as aquifers of fairly uniform permeability. Other types of rocks may be cracked and broken and contain openings large enough to carry water. Types and orientation of joints or other fractures may be clues to obtaining useful amounts of groundwater. Some rocks may be so folded and displaced that it is difficult to trace them underground.

Existing wells provide clues

Next, a hydrologist obtains information on the wells in the target area. The locations, depth to water, amount of water pumped, and types of rocks penetrated by wells also provide information on groundwater. Wells are tested to determine the amount of water moving through the aquifer, the volume of water that can enter a well, and the effects of pumping on water levels in the area. Chemical analysis of water from wells provides information on quality of water in the aquifer.

How groundwater occurs in rocks

Groundwater is simply the subsurface water that fully saturates pores or cracks in soils and rocks. Aquifers are replenished by the seepage of precipitation that falls on the land, although they can be artificially replenished by people, also. There are many geologic, meteorologic, topographic, and human factors that determine the extent and rate to which aquifers are refilled with water.

What is water dowsing?

"Water dowsing" refers in general to the practice of using a forked stick, rod, pendulum, or similar device to locate underground water, minerals, or other hidden or lost substances,and has been a subject of discussion and controversy for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Although tools and methods vary widely, most dowsers (also called diviners or water witches) probably still use the traditional forked stick, which may come from a variety of trees, including the willow, peach, and witchhazel. Other dowsers may use keys, wire coathangers, pliers, wire rods, pendulums, or various kinds of elaborate boxes and electrical instruments.

In the classic method of using a forked stick, one fork is held in each hand with the palms upward. The bottom or butt end of the "Y" is pointed skyward at an angle of about 45 degrees. The dowser than walks back and forth over the area to be tested. When he passes over a source of water, the butt end of the stick is supposed to rotate or be attracted downward.

Water dowsers practice mainly in rural or suburban communities where residents are uncertain as to how to locate the best and cheapest supply of groundwater. Because the drilling and development of a well often costs more than a thousand dollars, homeowners are understandably reluctant to gamble on a dry hole and turn to the water dowser for advice.

How did water dowsing begin?

Cave paintings in northwestern Africa that are 6,000-8,000 years old are believed to show a water dowser at work. The exact origin of the divining rod in Europe is not known. The device was introduced into England during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) to locate mineral deposits, and soon afterward it was adopted as a water finder throughout Europe. Water dowsing seems to be a mainly European cultural phenomenon; it was carried across the Atlantic to America by some of the earliest settlers from England and Germany.

What does science say about dowsing?

Case histories and demonstrations of dowsers may seem convincing, but when dowsing is exposed to scientific examination, it presents a very different picture. The natural explanation of "successful" water dowsing is that in many areas underground water is so prevalent close to the land surface that it would be hard to drill a well and not find water. In a region of adequate rainfall and favorable geology, it is difficult not to drill and find water!

Some water exists under the Earth's surface almost everywhere. This explains why many dowsers appear to be successful. To locate groundwater accurately, however, as to depth, quantity, and quality, a number of techniques must be used. Hydrologic, geologic, and geophysical knowledge is needed to determine the depths and extent of the different water-bearing strata and the quantity and quality of water found in each. The area must be thoroughly tested and studied to determine these facts.

Earth’s water

What is groundwater?
Some water underlies the Earth's surface almost everywhere, beneath hills, mountains, plains, and deserts. It is not always accessible, or fresh enough for use without treatment, and it's sometimes difficult to locate or to measure and describe. This water may occur close to the land surface, as in a marsh, or it may lie many hundreds of feet below the surface, as in some arid areas of the West. Water at very shallow depths might be just a few hours old; at moderate depth, it may be 100 years old; and at great depth or after having flowed long distances from places of entry, water may be several thousands of years old.

Groundwater occurs only close to the Earth's surface. There must be space between the rock particles for groundwater to occur, and the Earth's material becomes denser with more depth. Essentially, the weight of the rocks above condenses the rocks below and squeeze out the open pore spaces deeper in the Earth. That is why groundwater can only be found within a few miles of the Earth's surface.

Groundwater is an important part of the water cycle. Groundwater is the part of precipitation that seeps down through the soil until it reaches rock material that is saturated with water. Water in the ground is stored in the spaces between rock particles (no, there are no underground rivers or lakes). Groundwater slowly moves underground, generally at a downward angle (because of gravity), and may eventually seep into streams, lakes, and oceans.

Here is a simplified diagram showing how the ground is saturated below the water table (the purple area). The ground above the water table (the pink area) may be wet to a certain degree, but it does not stay saturated. The dirt and rock in this unsaturated zone contain air and some water and support the vegetation on the Earth. The saturated zone below the water table has water that fills the tiny spaces (pores) between rock particles and the cracks (fractures) of the rocks.

Why is there groundwater?

A couple of important factors are responsible for the existence of groundwater:

(1) Gravity
Nothing surprising here - gravity pulls water toward the center of the Earth. That means that water on the surface will try to seep into the ground below it.

(2) The Rocks below Our Feet
The rock below the Earth's surface is the bedrock. If all bedrock consisted of a dense material like solid granite, then even gravity would have a hard time pulling water downward. But Earth's bedrock consists of many types of rock, such as sandstone, granite, and limestone. Bedrocks have varying amounts of void spaces in them where groundwater accumulates. Bedrock can also become broken and fractured; creating spaces that can fill with water. And some bedrock, such as limestone, is dissolved by water -- which results in large cavities that fill with water.

In many places, if you looked at a vertical cross-section of the earth you would see that rock is laid down in layers, especially in areas of sedimentary rocks. Some layers have rocks that are more porous than others, and here water moves more freely (in a horizontal manner) through the earth. Sometimes when building a road, the layers are revealed by road cuts, and water can be seen seeping out through the exposed layers.

Try as it might, gravity doesn't pull water all the way to the center of the Earth. Deep in the bedrock there are rock layers made of dense material, such as granite, or material that water has a hard time penetrating, such as clay. These layers may be underneath the porous rock layers and, thus, act as a confining layer to retard the vertical movement of water. Since it is more difficult for the water to go any deeper, it tends to pool in the porous layers and flow in a more horizontal direction across the aquifer toward an exposed surface-water body, like a river.

Visualize it this way: get two sponges and lay one on top of the other. Pour water (precipitation) on top and it will seep through the top sponge downward into the bottom sponge. If you stopped adding water, the top sponge would dry up and, as the water dripped out of the bottom sponge, it would dry up too. Now, put a piece of plastic wrap between the sponges, creating your "confining layer" (making the bottom sponge an impermeable rock layer that is too dense to allow water to flow through it). Now when you pour water on the top sponge, the water will seep downward until it hits the plastic wrap. The top sponge will become saturated, and when the water hits the plastic wrap it won't be able to seep into the second sponge. Instead, it will start flowing sideways and come out at the edges of the sponge (horizontal flow of groundwater). This happens in the earth all the time -- and it is an important part of the water cycle.

The World's Water

Distribution of Earth's Water
"Water, Water, Everywhere...."
You've heard the phrase, and for water, it really is true. Earth's water is (almost) everywhere: above the Earth in the air and clouds, on the Earth as rivers, oceans, ice, plants, and dogs, and inside the Earth in the top few miles of the ground.

Below are two representations of where Earth's water resides. The left-side bar chart shows how almost all Earth's water is saline and in the oceans. And of the small amount that is actually freshwater, only a relatively small portion is available to sustain human, plant, and animal life.

The globe image is meant to show how much actual water exists, as compared to the total size of the Earth. The spheres look small because it is compared to the size of the whole globe. What it shows is that Earth's water resides in a very thin slice all around the Earth's surface.

• In the first bar, notice how only 2.5% of all Earth's water is fresh water, which is what life needs to survive.
• The middle bar shows the breakdown on that 2.5% which is fresh water. Almost all of it is locked up in ice and in the ground. Only 1.3% of all freshwater (which was only 2.5% of all water) is surface water, which serves most of life's needs.
• The right side bar shows the breakdown of only the surface freshwater, which was only 1.3% of all freshwater. Most of surface freshwater is locked up in ice, and another 20% is in lakes. Notice the 0.46% of surface freshwater that is in rivers. Sounds like a tiny amount, but rivers are where humans get a large portion of their water from.


Digging a hole in the beach is a great way to illustrate the concept of how, below a certain depth, the ground, if it is permeable enough to hold water, is saturated with water. The upper surface of this zone of saturation is called the water table. The saturated zone beneath the water table is called an aquifer, and aquifers are huge storehouses of water. What you are looking at in this picture is a "well" that exposes the water table, with an aquifer beneath it. Of course, I am cheating here, as at the beach, the level of the water table is always at the same level as the ocean, which is just below the surface of the beach.

Groundwater is one of our most valuable resources—even though you probably never see it or even realize it is there. As you may have read, most of the void spaces in the rocks below the water table are filled with water. But rocks have a different porosity and permeability characteristic, which means that water, does not move around the same way in all rocks below ground.

When a water-bearing rock readily transmits water to wells and springs, it is called an aquifer. Wells can be drilled into the aquifers and water can be pumped out. Precipitation eventually adds water (recharge) into the porous rock of the aquifer. The rate of recharge is not the same for all aquifers, though, and that must be considered when pumping water from a well. Pumping too much water too fast draws down the water in the aquifer and eventually causes a well to yield less and less water and even run dry. In fact, pumping your well too fast can even cause your neighbor's well to run dry if you both are pumping from the same aquifer.

In the diagram below, you can see how the ground below the water table (the blue area) is saturated with water. The "unsaturated zone" above the water table (the greenish area) still contains water (after all, plants' roots live in this area), but it is not totally saturated with water. You can see this in the two drawings at the bottom of the diagram, which show a close-up of how water is stored in between underground rock particles.

Sometimes the porous rock layers become tilted in the earth. There might be a confining layer of less porous rock both above and below the porous layer. This is an example of a confined aquifer. In this case, the rocks’ surrounding the aquifer confines the pressure in the porous rock and its water. If a well is drilled into this "pressurized" aquifer, the internal pressure might (depending on the ability of the rock to transport water) be enough to push the water up the well and up to the surface without the aid of a pump, sometimes completely out of the well. This type of well is called artesian. The pressure of water from an artesian well can be quite dramatic.

A relationship does not necessarily exist between the water-bearing capacity of rocks and the depth at which they are found. Very dense granite that will yield little or no water to a well may be exposed at the land surface. Conversely, porous sandstone, such as the Dakota Sandstone mentioned previously, may lie hundreds or thousands of feet below the land surface and may yield hundreds of gallons per minute of water. Rocks that yield freshwater have been found at depths of more than 6,000 feet, and salty water has come from oil wells at depths of more than 30,000 feet. On the average, however, the porosity and permeability of rocks decrease as their depth below land surface increases; the pores and cracks in rocks at great depths are closed or greatly reduced in size because of the weight of overlying rocks.

Pumping can affect the level of the water table

Groundwater occurs in the saturated soil and rock below the water table. If the aquifer is shallow enough and permeable enough to allow water to move through it at a rapid-enough rate, then people can drill wells into it and withdraw water. The level of the water table can naturally change over time due to changes in weather cycles and precipitation patterns, stream flow and geologic changes, and even human-induced changes, such as the increase in impervious surfaces on the landscape.

The pumping of wells can have a great deal of influence on water levels below ground, especially in the vicinity of the well, as this diagram shows. If water is withdrawn from the ground at a faster rate that it is replenished, either by infiltration from the surface of from streams, then the water table can become lower, resulting in a "cone of depression" around the well. Depending on geologic and hydrologic conditions of the aquifer, the impact on the level of the water table can be short-lived or last for decades, and it can fall a small amount or many hundreds of feet. Excessive pumping can lower the water table so much that the wells no longer supply water—they can "go dry."

Water movement in aquifers

Water movement in aquifers is highly dependent of the permeability of the aquifer material. Permeable material contains interconnected cracks or spaces that are both numerous enough and large enough to allow water to move freely. In some permeable materials groundwater may move several meters in a day; in other places, it moves only a few centimeters in a century. Groundwater moves very slowly through relatively impermeable materials such as clay and shale.

After entering an aquifer, water moves slowly toward lower lying places and eventually is discharged from the aquifer from springs, seeps into streams, or is withdrawn from the ground by wells. Groundwater in aquifers between layers of poorly permeable rock, such as clay or shale, may be confined under pressure. If such a confined aquifer is tapped by a well, water will rise above the top of the aquifer and may even flow from the well onto the land surface. Water confined in this way is said to be under artesian pressure, and the aquifer is called an artesian aquifer.

Visualizing artesian pressure

Here's a little experiment to show you how artesian pressure works. Fill a plastic sandwich baggie with water, put a straw in through the opening, tape the opening around the straw closed, DON'T point the straw towards your teacher or parents, and then squeeze the baggie. Artesian water is pushed out through the straw.

Groundwater depletion

Excessive pumping can overdraw the groundwater "bank account"

The water stored in the ground can be compared to money kept in a bank account. If you withdraw money at a faster rate than you deposit new money you will eventually start having account-supply problems. Pumping water out of the ground faster than it is replenished over the long-term causes similar problems. The volume of groundwater in storage is decreasing in many areas of the world in response to pumping. Groundwater depletion is primarily caused by sustained groundwater pumping. Some of the negative effects of groundwater depletion:

• drying up of wells
• reduction of water in streams and lakes
• deterioration of water quality
• increased pumping costs
• land subsidence

What are some effects of groundwater depletion?

Pumping groundwater at a faster rate than it can be recharged can have some negative effects of the environment and the people who make use of the water:

Lowering of the water table

The most severe consequence of excessive groundwater pumping is that the water table, below which the ground is saturated with water, can be lowered. For water to be withdrawn from the ground, water must be pumped from a well that reaches below the water table. If groundwater levels decline too far, then the well owner might have to deepen the well, drill a new well, or, at least, attempt to lower the pump. Also, as water levels decline, the rate of water the well can yield may decline.

Increased costs for the user

As the depth to water increases, the water must be lifted higher to reach the land surface. If pumps are used to lift the water (as opposed to artesian wells), more energy is required to drive the pump. Using the well can become prohibitively expensive

Reduction of water in streams and lakes

There is more of an interaction between the water in lakes and rivers and groundwater than most people think. Some, and often a great deal, of the water flowing in rivers come from seepage of groundwater into the streambed. Groundwater contributes to streams in most physiographic and climatic settings. The proportion of stream water that comes from groundwater inflow varies according to a region's geography, geology, and climate.
Groundwater pumping can alter how water moves between an aquifer and a stream, lake, or wetland by either intercepting groundwater flow that discharges into the surface-water body under natural conditions, or by increasing the rate of water movement from the surface-water body into an aquifer. A related effect of groundwater pumping is the lowering of groundwater levels below the depth that streamside or wetland vegetation needs to survive. The overall effect is a loss of riparian vegetation and wildlife habitat.

Land subsidence

The basic cause of land subsidence is a loss of support below ground. In other words, sometimes when water is taken out of the soil, the soil collapses, compacts, and drops. This depends on a number of factors, such as the type of soil and rock below the surface. Land subsidence is most often caused by human activities, mainly from the removal of subsurface water.

Groundwater flow and effects of pumping

Water is recharged to the groundwater system by percolation of water from precipitation and then flows to the stream through the groundwater system.

Water pumped from the groundwater system causes the water table to lower and alters the direction of groundwater movement. Some water that flowed to the stream no longer does so and some water may be drawn in from the stream into the groundwater system, thereby reducing the amount of stream flow.

Contaminants introduced at the land surface may infiltrate to the water table and flow towards a point of discharge, either the well or the stream. (Not shown, but also important, is the potential movement of contaminants from the stream into the groundwater system.)

Water-level declines may affect the environment for plants and animals. For example, plants in the riparian zone that grew because of the close proximity of the water table to the land surface may not survive as the depth to water increases. The environment for fish and other aquatic species also may be altered as the stream level drops.

The pumping of wells can have a great deal of influence on water levels below ground, especially in the vicinity of the well, as this diagram shows. If water is withdrawn from the ground at a faster rate that it is replenished by precipitation infiltration and seepage from streams, then the water table can become lower, resulting in a "cone of depression" around the well.

Depending on geologic and hydrologic conditions of the aquifer, the impact on the level of the water table can be short-lived or last for decades, and the water level can fall a small amount or many hundreds of feet. Excessive pumping can lower the water table so much that the wells no longer supply water—they can "go dry."

Groundwater quality

Just because there is a well that yields plenty of water doesn't mean you can go ahead and just take a drink. Because water is such an excellent solvent it can contain lots of dissolved chemicals. And since groundwater moves through rocks and subsurface soil, it has a lot of opportunity to dissolve substances as it moves. For that reason, groundwater will often have more dissolved substances than surface water will.
Even though the ground is an excellent mechanism for filtering out particulate matter, such as leaves, soil, and bugs, dissolved chemicals and gases can still occur in large enough concentrations in groundwater to cause problems. Underground water can get contaminated from industrial, domestic, and agricultural chemicals from the surface. This includes chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides that many homeowners apply to their lawns. .
Contamination of groundwater by road salt is of major concern in northern areas of the United States. Salt is spread on roads to melt ice, and, with salt being so soluble in water, excess sodium and chloride is easily transported into the subsurface groundwater. The most common water-quality problem in rural water supplies is bacterial contamination from septic tanks, which are often used in rural areas that don't have a sewage-treatment system. Effluent (overflow and leakage) from a septic tank can percolate (seep) down to the water table and maybe into a homeowner's own well. Just as with urban water supplies, chlorination may be necessary to kill the dangerous bacteria. .
The U.S. Geological Survey is involved in monitoring the Nation's groundwater supplies. A national network of observation wells exists to measure regularly the water levels in wells and to investigate water quality.

Contaminants can be natural or human-induced

Naturally occurring contaminants are present in the rocks and sediments. As groundwater flows through sediments, metals such as iron and manganese are dissolved and may later be found in high concentrations in the water. Industrial discharges, urban activities, agriculture, groundwater pump age, and disposal of waste all can affect groundwater quality. Contaminants from leaking fuel tanks or fuel or toxic chemical spills may enter the groundwater and contaminate the aquifer. Pesticides and fertilizers applied to lawns and crops can accumulate and migrate to the water table.

The physical properties of an aquifer, such as thickness, rock or sediment type, and location, play a large part in determining whether contaminants from the land surface will reach the groundwater. The risk of contamination is greater for unconfined (water-table) aquifers than for confined aquifers because they usually are nearer to land surface and lack an overlying confining layer to impede the movement of contaminants. Because groundwater moves slowly in the subsurface and many contaminants sorb to the sediments, restoration of a contaminated aquifer is difficult and may require years, decades, centuries, or even millennia.

There are rivers flowing below our feet ... a myth?

Have you ever heard that there are rivers of water flowing underground? Do you think it is true? Actually, it is pretty much a myth. Even though there are some caverns, lava and ice tubes, and horizontal springs that can carry water, the vast majority of underground water occupies the spaces between rocks and subsurface material. Some rivers can disappear underground during low-flow periods. Generally, water underground is more like water in a sponge. It occupies the spaces between soil and rock particles. At a certain depth below the land surface, the spaces between the soil and rock particles can be totally filled with water, resulting in an aquifer from which groundwater can be pumped and used by people.

Groundwater flows underground


What is Rainwater harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse before it reaches the aquifer. Uses include water for garden, water for livestock, water for irrigation, and indoor heating for houses etc.. In many places the water collected is just redirected to a deep pit with percolation. The harvested water can be used as drinking water as well as for storage and other purpose like irrigation.
The term rainwater harvesting is being frequently used these days, however, the concept of water harvesting is not new for India. Water harvesting techniques had been evolved and developed centuries ago.
Ground water resource gets naturally recharged through percolation. But due to indiscriminate development and rapid urbanization, exposed surface for soil has been reduced drastically with resultant reduction in percolation of rainwater, thereby depleting ground water resource. Rainwater harvesting is the process of augmenting the natural filtration of rainwater in to the underground formation by some artificial methods. "Conscious collection and storage of rainwater to cater to demands of water, for drinking, domestic purpose & irrigation is termed as Rainwater Harvesting."

Why harvest rain water?

This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions, as to why one should harvest rainwater. There are many reasons but following are some of the important ones.

1. To arrest ground water decline and augment ground water table
2. To beneficiate water quality in aquifers
3. To conserve surface water runoff during monsoon
4. To reduce soil erosion
5. To inculcate a culture of water conservation

Advantages of Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting provides an independent water supply during regional water restrictions and in developed countries is often used to supplement the main supply. It provides water when there is a drought, prevents flooding of low-lying areas, replenishes the ground water level, and enables dug wells and bore wells to yield in a sustained manner. It also helps in the availability of clean water by reducing the salinity and the presence of iron salts.>

• Makes use of a natural resource and reduces flooding, storm water, erosion, and contamination of   surface water with pesticides, sediment, metals and fertilizers.
• Excellent source of water for landscape irrigation, with no chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine,   and any dissolved salts and minerals from the soil. .
• Home systems can be relatively simple to install and operate and it may reduce your water bill. .
• Promotes both water and energy conservation. .
  The quality of collected rainwater is generally better than that of surface water. Contamination is   always possible by airborne dust and mists, bird faeces, and other debris, so some treatment is   necessary,depending on how the water will be used.

How to harvest rainwater?

Broadly there are two ways of harvesting rainwater:
(i) Surface runoff harvesting
(ii) Roof top rainwater harvesting
Surface runoff harvesting:
In urban area rainwater flows away as surface runoff. This runoff could be caught and used for recharging aquifers by adopting appropriate methods.
Roof top rainwater harvesting (RTRWH):
It is a system of catching rainwater where it falls. In rooftop harvesting, the roof becomes the catchments, and the rainwater is collected from the roof of the house/building. It can either be stored in a tank or diverted to artificial recharge system. This method is less expensive and very effective and if implemented properly helps in augmenting the ground water level of the area.

Maintaining sufficient distance between a borewell and septic tank is always recommended as there are chances of contamination. If the situation warrants location of them in close proximity, it advisable to properly grout the borewell casing pipe with cement slurry till hard rock formation. In shallow aquifer zones, it is not advisable to locate borewells used for drinking purposes and the septic tank in close proximity. It is better to take professional assistance in such cases to take preventive steps around the borewell as well as the septic tank.