How Much Does it Cost to Dig a Well?

The ongoing drought has hit you and you are desperate for your family. Maybe, you wish to develop your property or intend to improve an existing water supply system for irrigation. The question that keeps on getting repeated is, why not dig a well?

Sometimes, if you are so unlucky, the quote you get for digging a well could be higher than what you paid for your house. That’s the moment you wish you married the driller’s daughter. So our major question still stays, how much does it cost to dig a well?


Average Well Drilling Cost And Factors

Well digging is costly due to more than one reason. A fully equipped well digging rig itself can cost over a million dollars for the drilling company. Not only that the work itself is pretty dangerous, it gets even more difficult when the million dollar equipment needs constant repairing. So don’t be wondered if a drilling company quotes you a sum you can’t afford. That being said, we will be discussing the optimal price you should be willing to pay for your well.

Permit Fees

$5 to $500

The permit fee changes based on your county. For example, Duval County, Florida charges $150 whereas Town of Orange Park charges only $5 for the permit. You need to get in contact with the Department of Health or Environmental Quality Department in your county. The cost for residential and irrigational well permit could be different. Of course, your contractor can help you complete all the paper works for getting the permit.


Proximity to Home

Closer The Better

If the well is digged near to your home, the costs for running waterline and electrical supply can be minimized.

Well Casing

$15 to $35 per foot

PVC casings are usually used, and it comes at a cheaper price. Mild steel casings are expensive but are less prone to leaks and cracks. Some companies will include standard casing in their basic package where they charge on per feet basis. But the majority of the companies bills you separately for the well casing. The best way to decide the casing you need is to check your neighbor’s well casing. In average, well casing pricing is between $15 to $35 per foot.  The casing is needed only until the drilling hits a bedrock as the subsequent borehole will be self-supportive.


Mobility Fees

Few Hundred

Your contractor may or may not bill you for moving his digging equipment to your location. It’s mainly because moving the rig itself can costly if say, the driller is from out of town. Mobility fees would be a few hundred depending on the distance.

Pump Installations

$2500 to $7500

Pump Installations would cost at least $2000 and up to $7500 for deeper wells.

Additional Optional Costs

These costs are optional and it’s your discretion on whether to have them or not. Though, some of these have to be installed under critical circumstances for the betterment of well water system.


Iron out system

$400 one time, $20 recurring

There is a 60% chance that iron percentage in the well water to be over the agreeable limit. Being hazardous, the Iron particles has to be filtered out. The system could cost an additional $400 for installation and $20 recurring expense per month for chemicals.

Holding Tank

$150 to $500

If your peak usage is more than what the well is designed to yield per minute, your only option is to install a holding tank. This way, you can use a shower (5 gallons of water per minute) by having a well which yields only 2 gallons per minute. Pressurized water tanks will cost around $150-$500 depending on its capacity.


Well Screens

$1500 to $2500

If you want to filter debris at the bottom of the well, well screens should be installed. Stainless steel screens are best but they are expensive than other materials. You may want to discuss well screens to your driller ahead of time because a decision will have to be made quickly at the time of drilling. The cost of well screen per section would be around $1500 to $2500.

Drive Shoes

$75 to $200

Acting as a cutting edge at the bottom of a pipe or casing, it protects and prevents splitting of the pipe. The price of a single drive shoe is from $75 to $200.


Water Quality System

$100 to $200

Water can be checked for contaminants, bacteria, nitrate, copper, PH for around $100 to $200.

Considerations To Make

Wells are typically drilled at a depth of 100-300 feet deep for residential buildings. But even 2000 feet wells are being drilled these days due to geographic conditions and for irrigational purposes. A well should be drilled at least 50 ft away from a septic system, and depending on the county’s regulations, well’s placement should be 20-100 ft away from your property line.

In average, a person requires 75 gallons of water a day. So, a household of 4, have the necessity of 300 gallons a day. Though 1/2 gallons of water per minute wells can sustain household purposes, people always settle of 1-2 gallons/minute water well systems. Deeper you dig, higher will be the water yield.


There is no guarantee of having water at the end of drilling. Your agreement with the contractor will be having such a clause for sure. But according to H2OWell, the dry well share is less than 5% of all dug wells. Anyway, it’s one more reason why you should buy properties where water is available.

If you want to save some money, consider hiring well drillers on off seasons when prices would be little flexible. Also, if you call them on a rainy season and if it gets muddy out on the field, they would have to bring a new machine to move the drill rig out of the mud. The expense of bringing the machine will be taken from you!

ground water well drilling machine on work

Construction of Water Well

Now that you know how much does it cost to dig a well, you should also know more about its construction.

Typically, the basic rules of constructing a residential water well are to find the right location for your well, to size the water system properly, and to choose the proper techniques of construction. If you want to have the best residential water well, it is good to hire a professional water well drilling company. This is because they have all the knowledge about the hydrology of your location and the local government codes and regulations.


A renowned home improvement expert with almost 20 years of experience in building and repairing beautiful homes in the USA. He's a civil engineer by profession.

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