How to Drill a Water Well Through Rock

While drilling a water well, my bit hit something solid and nothing seems to work to get past it. Any suggestions? -Jeff

Hi Jeff,

You’re drill bit is probably hitting rock, and while you can drill a water well through rock, it will definitely slow the process way down. Drilling through a big rock can slow drilling down to as little as half an inch per hour!

The real problem isn’t big rocks, however, but rocks about the size of a small melon. On rocks that size, the drill bit doesn’t have anything to bite into, so it just rolls off. While it’s not impossible to go around rocks when drilling a water well, it can be so time consuming that drilling the well in that particular location may not be practical.

You can always try drilling your water well in another location on your property, but there’s no guarantee that the layer of rock you’re hitting doesn’t run under the entire property.

Good luck with your project,

Danny

7 COMMENTS

  1. PLEASE, MUST I DRILL THROUGH THE ROCK TO GET WATER THROUGHOUT THE SEASON, OR NOT? MANY ARE TELLING ME I HAVE TO DRILL THROUGH A ROCK BEFORE I CAN GET WATER THAT WILL NEVER DRY THROUGHOUT THE DRY SEASON IN NIGERIA. PLEASE HELP

  2. I didn’t know it would take so long to drill through rock! This is a more difficult process than I thought. Is there any way to drill through the melon sized rocks, or is your only option at that point to go around them? Thanks for sharing this information!

  3. Hi Akin, It depends on the ground formation… hence the depth of your water table. Mine is a hard dug well – not a bore hole. So we encountered hard rock at 5ft through 34ft where we found the first traces of water…

    Got porous rock for another 5ft… then continued to 60ft in hard rock where we seem to have prenty of water. We have decided to take atwo weeks break to assess water levels then go back to it.

    If you wish, I can post photos and videos.

  4. Thanks for your detailed response to Jeff; I have the same problem as him. I’m considering hiring a well-drilling service, just because I think I have a lot of those melon-sized rocks you mentioned and I don’t have time to keep doing trial and error. I’ll have to ask if there’s a way for the services in my area to check for rocks before drilling using a sonar or something.

  5. I am really desperate to know if I will get water below the hard rock that I have encountered at 20ft. while digging my borehole.

  6. I have an electric jackhammer that will smash through most rock maybe even granite.
    Why not add extensions to the jackhammer bit and use-it to brake the rock until they are small enough to be scooped-up
    by the auger

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