Bore water in use

Since living in Sydney Mum has been walking and driving past these signs: “Bore Water in use” or “Bore Water Irrigation”, and wondering why they’re needed. They are usually displayed in house gardens and in public spaces such as parks and reserves.

What is bore water?

Bore water is water that has been extracted from a bore, or hole, in the ground. The hole has been drilled in the ground, and normally sits beneath several layers of rock and soil. Rain water seeps through the layers of rock and soil, into the bore, and can be pumped up and used to water gardens and parks.

Why do we need “bore water in use” signs?

Water pumped from a bore may be contaminated. In some areas the contamination is caused by naturally occurring chemical and mineral content in the ground. In other areas, nearby commercial or agricultural activity may contaminate the water. For this reason it is not usually recommended that bore water be used for drinking, filling swimming pools, or watering edible plants.

Gardeners who want to use bore water test their water tanks for levels of contamination, before deciding how to use it.

Due to the dangers associated with extracting contaminated water from a bore, Australian state governments and local councils manage legislation regarding bore water installation and maintenance.  A component of these procedures is that properties and locations where bore water is used, be clearly identified.

If you’d like to learn more about bore water usage in your suburb, information can usually be found on your council, city, state, or territory’s water management website.