How to Choose the Right
Water Borehole Contractor
With drought being an ongoing concern in the Western Cape, and with water scarcity on the rise the country over, you may be considering installing a domestic or commercial water borehole to ensure your taps never run dry in a crisis – but choosing the right borehole contractor can be a frustrating and time-consuming task in and of itself.
Recently a whole new spate of fly-by-night operators have emerged on the scene, no doubt driven by the increasing public interest in drilling boreholes.
So, how can you avoid a costly misstep and ensure you choose a reputable borehole contractor from the get go?
Keep reading to find out how you can identify the real deal from a sub-par borehole contractor!
Important factors to look for when choosing a water borehole contractor:
- Years of Doing Business vs. Years of Experience
- Quality & Ability of Equipment
- Ratings & Reviews
- Service Areas & the Company’s Investment in that Area
- Do they have a depot in the area?
- Association Memberships
1. Years of Doing Business vs. Years of Experience
When you start researching borehole contractors you’ll often find companies bragging about their “years of experience”.
It should raise red flags if a company is claiming to have decades of experience, but the company itself is only a few months old.
What fly-by-night operations do is add up the years of experience of their individual staff and use that total number to generate an irrelevant total number of “years of experience”.
What this method succeeds in doing is hiding the relative inexperience of a company from undiscerning clients who are lulled into a false sense of security by a double-digit number.
Personal years of experience simply cannot be added and be considered a realistic representation of company experience.
Ask yourself, does a company employing 100 people each with only 12 months of experience really have the 100 years of experience they’re claiming to have?
Of course not – anyone with only a year’s worth of experience is still inexperienced, and the company knows that, which is why they try to pull the wool over interested parties’ eyes by the false equivalency of cumulative years of experience with years of doing business.
If you’re looking to hire the real deal the first time around, look into the company history.
RPM Drilling, for example, has been trading as RPM for 35 years. Established in 1984, the current owner is a third-generation borehole driller. If we added our employees’ cumulative years of experience we’d also be sitting with a number in the triple digits, but, as a company, we believe in transparency and consumer education, and so we invite interested parties to do their research and to proceed with caution when it comes to companies boasting unrealistic numbers of years of experience.
2. Quality & Ability of Equipment
A borehole is a long-term investment and, if drilled and installed correctly, it can serve its purpose for many years.
It is important to make sure that your borehole contractor is using quality materials and quality equipment and tools in the construction of your borehole to ensure the longevity of your investment.
Less than honest companies often use cheaper steel casings, or don’t maintain their equipment, and then disappear when the client’s borehole collapses, or the casing erodes.
There are many corners that can be cut by dishonest contractors in their pursuit of offering the client a “cheaper rate”, none of which will help ensure the longevity and efficacy of the borehole.
In English, the saying goes “you get what you pay for”, and in Afrikaans we’ve got “goedkoop is duurkoop”, which both boil down to us urging potential clients to do their research before committing to hiring a contractor at what seems like a bargain, but actually turns out to be a very expensive price for a shoddy bit of work.
When it comes to boreholes, you can pay now and have the job done professionally, or you can pay later and hope that your substandard borehole can be salvaged or repaired later on – and if it can’t, you’ll have to start drilling from scratch!
That’s why we advise our clients to ask questions, inspect a company’s equipment and make an educated and informed decision!
The real professionals will be happy to answer all of your questions and to put your mind at ease!
Also Read – Water Borehole Drilling Process In 4 Steps
3. Ratings & Reviews
Contractors who care about the longevity of their business will do everything within their power to ensure their ratings remain at an acceptable level.
Remember, it’s easy to get 5 friends or family members to leave your business a false 5 star review, it’s far more difficult to maintain a 5 star rating when you have thousands of reviews from actual clients.
Before you choose a borehole contractor, make sure to look not just at their rating, but at the number of reviews that have been left for the company to get that rating.
Did the company respond to the reviewers who had complaints and offer to rectify the situation?
How many reviewers cite the same issues with their boreholes?
Knowledge is power, and the more you can learn from other previous clients’ experiences, the better!
4. Service Areas & the Company’s Investment in that Area
In the borehole drilling industry one often finds companies moving from province to province, and while we do believe supply should meet demand, it is important that clients ask themselves, and their potential borehole contractor, why the company made the move.
Sometimes, companies run from their own previously poorly executed work.
If a company is drilling outside its province of origination, clients would do well to ask themselves why the people on that company’s doorstep don’t want to work with them anymore.
Obviously, it is possible for a borehole contractor to find themselves based in a water-rich area and therefore forced to look for work outside their home province, but in that case, a client’s consideration of the company’s investment in their community becomes all the more important.
Is the company plugged into their community?
Do they support local schools and/or charities?
Does the community support their business even if they are not in immediate need of the company’s services?
5. Do they have a depot in the area?
If your chosen contractor isn’t based in your home province, is there a reliable means of contacting them?
Do they have a full-time representative or depot in your immediate area?
Who is on call if something goes wrong, or you need emergency assistance?
At RPM, our teams are made up of local residents, and we invest directly in the communities we serve.
Also Read – 8 Benefits Of Getting A Water Borehole
6. Association Memberships
Perhaps the most important question to ask any potential contractor is whether or not they are members of the Borehole Water Association.
If not, we advise clients to think twice about hiring them!
If the company is a member, you can rest assured the association will step in on your behalf should you receive no assistance from the company when you need it.
Having this channel for recourse is invaluable.
It is also important to remember that sinking the borehole is only one step to proper borehole maintenance and service.
A company’s aftermarket sales and their typical responses and response time to issues that crop up after the initial installation is very telling of the true nature and ethics of the business.
If a company is an active member of the association, you can and should follow-up with these authorities to find out about the company’s standing with them.
A company should also be listing their membership number on their website, or be able to produce it upon inquiry.
The long and short of it is that there will always be a borehole contractor who promises it to you cheaper, but at what long-term cost?
We encourage all individuals and commercial entities interested in hiring a borehole contractor to first do independent research to ensure the company is registered with the relevant authorities, is using professional equipment, and won’t drop the ball or disappear into thin air if something goes wrong.
For any further questions about borehole contractors, or to get in touch with us about your borehole drilling needs, please feel free to contact us using the details provided at the bottom of the page, or by using our “Request a Quote” form in the main menu.
RPM looks forward to helping you in any way we can.