How much does it cost to drill or dig a well?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to drill or dig a well?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to drill or dig a well?

$15 – $25Cost Per Foot (Drilling Only)
$25 – $61Cost Per Foot (Complete Install)
$3,750 – $15,300Average total cost to drill a well

The average cost to put in a new water well is $3,750 to $15,300 while installing a well and septic system costs $6,000 to $20,000. Well drilling costs $25 to $65 per foot for a complete installation, or $15 to $25 per foot just to drill.

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$15 – $25 Cost Per Foot (Drilling Only)

$25 – $61 Cost Per Foot (Complete Install)

$3,750 – $15,300 Average total cost to drill a well

The average cost to put in a new water well is $3,750 to $15,300 while installing a well and septic system costs $6,000 to $20,000. Well drilling costs $25 to $65 per foot for a complete installation, or $15 to $25 per foot just to drill.

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a pro? Get new customers
Tom Grupa
Written by
Tom Grupa
Fact-checked by
Sarah Noel

Well Drilling Cost

Drilling a well costs $5,325 to $9,180 for an average depth of 150 feet. Most homeowners spend $3,750 to $15,300, or $25 to $65 per foot for well installation. Digging a shallow well costs $1,800 and $3,000. Costs depend on the depth drilled, soil conditions, and the well's diameter.

Well drilling costs - chart
Well drilling costs - chart
Well Drilling Cost
Depth In Feet 4” Diameter
PVC Casing
6” Diameter
Steel Casing
8” Diameter
Steel Casing
50 $1,775 $3,060 $4,200
100 $3,550 $6,120 $8,400
150 $5,325 $9,180 $12,600
200 $7,100 $12,240 $16,800
250 $8,875 $15,300 $21,000
300 $10,650 $18,360 $25,200
350 $12,425 $21,420 $29,400
400 $14,200 $24,480 $33,600

*Prices are for a complete water well system.

  • Residential water wells are typically 100' to 300' deep and 4" to 6" in diameter.

  • Local well drillers or neighbors can give you an idea of how deep to drill.

  • A well takes about a week to install and lasts up to 40 years with proper maintenance and care.

  • A well provides free water for both residential and irrigation needs.

  • Geothermal wells provide heating and cooling energy for your home.

  • Any landowner may drill a well on their property.

Average cost of drilling a water well

Average cost of drilling a water well - chart
Average cost of drilling a water well - chart
Average Cost of Drilling a Water Well
National Average Cost $9,180
Minimum Cost $1,775
Maximum Cost $30,000
Average Range $3,750 to $15,300

Get free estimates from well drillers near you.

Well drilling costs $15 to $25 per foot for the drilling process only. Installing a complete well water system costs $25 to $65 per foot. Irrigation wells cost $50 to $100 per foot, and geothermal wells are $5 to $40 per foot.

Well drilling cost per foot - chart
Well drilling cost per foot - chart
Well Drilling Cost Per Foot
Type Average Cost Per Foot
Digging A 3”–4” Well To 25’ $10 – $25
4” Residential Water Well $25 – $40
6” Residential Water Well $30 – $65
8” Residential Water Well $60 – $100
Irrigation or Agricultural Well $50 – $100
Artesian Well $35 – $85
Geothermal Well $5 – $40

*Prices typically include drilling, pump, casing, and complete installation.

Residential Water Well Cost

Drilling a residential water well costs $25 to $65 per foot or $3,750 to $15,300 on average for a complete system and installation. Prices include the drilling, a pump, casing, wiring, and more. Total costs largely depend on the depth drilled and the well's diameter.

Water Well Costs
Item Average Cost
Drilling Only $15 – $25 per foot
Well Pump $400 – $2,500
Well Casing Pipe $250 – $2,500
Electrical Wiring & Control Box $500 – $1,500
Pressure Storage Tank & Switch $300 – $2,500
Water Treatment & Purification System $500 – $3,000
Water Quality Testing $50 – $650
Permit $350 – $700
Water Heater $800 – $1,800

Contractor drilling a residential water well
Contractor drilling a residential water well

Cost To Dig A Shallow Well

The average cost to dig a shallow well is between $1,800 and $3,000, or $5 to $10 per cubic yard depending on the depth of the water table. Shallow wells are typically 25' to 50' deep, 3 to 10 feet in diameter, and are best in areas without rocks or any bedrock.

Dug wells capture water from shallow aquifers close to the surface and are lined with brick, stone, or concrete tiles to prevent the walls from caving in. Shallow wells produce less yield and are more difficult to protect from contamination. Drilling is the most common method of well construction.

Well company digging a shallow water well
Well company digging a shallow water well

Irrigation or Agricultural Well Cost

Drilling an irrigation or agricultural well costs $25 to $50 per foot or $85 to $105 per foot for a complete installation. Residential irrigation wells cost $9,000 to $15,000 on average, while many high-yield commercial wells cost $50,000 to $100,000, which typically includes the pump.

  • Commercial agricultural wells require a larger borehole and are drilled deeper to increase water volume to at least 6 gallons per minute per acre for a center pivot.

  • Most states require a permit to drill and place limits called allocations on the amount of water that can be pumped out over time.

Irrigation or Agricultural Well Cost
Item Average Cost
Residential Drilling + Pump $9,000 – $15,000
Commercial Drilling + Pump $50,000 – $100,000
Electrical Wiring $25 – $50 LF
+ $500 – $1,000 per pole every 200 feet
Pressure Storage Tank $300 – $2,500
Permit $564

*Based on average depth of 100' to 300'. Add additional costs for solar powered pump, power supply, water treatment, deeper drilling, or larger pump.

High pressure irrigation well flooding agricultural field
High pressure irrigation well flooding agricultural field

Geothermal Well Drilling Cost

Geothermal well drilling costs $5 to $40 per foot or $3,500 to $5,000 per well. Geothermal wells are 4” to 8” wide, 100’ to 500’ deep, and spaced 10’ to 20’ apart. Most homes need 3 to 5 boreholes on average with 300’ to 500’ of piping per ton of HVAC capacity.

Installing a vertical geothermal heat pump costs $22,000 to $35,000 on average, including the drilling. The largest cost is getting the equipment to the job site, and experienced contractors are sparse.

Geothermal wells work by sinking pipes filled with an ethanol solution into a drilling location with a drill rig as a source of heating and cooling energy for a home. During colder months, the solution brings the heat back to the house. In summer, heat is taken from the house and transferred to the ground.

Geothermal well drilling for residential heat pump
Geothermal well drilling for residential heat pump

Artesian Well Cost

An artesian well costs $35 to $85 per foot or $5,000 to $15,000 for drilling and casing to an average depth of 150 to 450 feet to hit an aquifer. Groundwater in aquifers between layers of rock is a pressurized body of water, causing water to flow naturally without pumping or electricity when tapped by a well.

Sand Point Well Cost

A sand point well costs $300 to $3,000 and is a good solution for temporary water needs, delivering up to 3 gallons per minute. A sand point well is the most economical way to get water that a homeowner can install.

Sand point wells are similar to dug wells in depth, with a steel pipe driven around 20' deep and a 1-1/4” to 2” diameter. A screen on the end of the point filters the water from water-bearing sand, and it’s drawn to the surface by a pump. Choose from kits with a hand pump or a jet pump. Installing a water tank is optional.

Sand Point Well Cost
Item Average Cost
Sand Point Kit $225 – $500
Steel Down Pipe $100 – $150
Jet Pump & Pressure Tank Combo $200 – $600
+ $439 to install
Hand Pump & Small Tank Combo $100 – $300
+ $146 to install
Sand Point $35
Well Cap / Seal $20 – $40

Downsides to Sandpoint Wells

  • Requires a shallow water table; not suitable for depths beyond 25’.

  • With certain strata, they clog easily, as do the screens.

  • Only for intermittent use, not for regular water supply or irrigation.

  • Water has to be pulled slowly to reduce clogging.

  • Shallow water sources have a high potential for contamination if there is surface water runoff from a higher elevation.

  • Water pressure might not be consistent.

Cost to Redrill a Well Deeper

The average cost to redrill a well deeper is $3,000 to $6,000, or between $35 and $84 per foot, which is the same as drilling a new well. Hydrofracturing is another method used to increase water flow and costs $1,500 to $3,000. Explore both options before drilling.

There is no guarantee that deepening a well will yield water if the well has dried up. Professionals only recommend deepening a well if it's not deep enough for hydraulic fracturing (at least 200' deep), or if multiple hydrofracturing failed to meet the water demand.

Hydraulic fracturing benefits:

  • A 97% success rate

  • Requires no excavation

  • Uses highly pressurized water to break rock at the lowest well level

  • Opens new pathways for water to enter the well

  • Final cost determined in advance

New Water Well Installation Costs

Installing a new well water system ranges from $1,775 to $30,000 or more, depending on the options you choose to power your well pump and the depth and diameter of the well. Drilling is the most expensive part, followed by the cost of the pump.

Water Well Drilling Process

The water well drilling process varies based on the type of well you are drilling and the equipment used.

  1. Once drilling hits the water table, the hole is cased to prevent it from collapsing on itself and hooked to the water lines.

  2. Pumping equipment to get the water out of the ground is installed.

  3. The well is capped to keep it clean and free from pests and contamination.

Water well system illustration showing underground aquifer pump casing and tank
Water well system illustration showing underground aquifer pump casing and tank

Water Well Cost Breakdown

Here's a sample water well cost breakdown to get an estimate of your total costs.

Well Drilling Cost Calculator
Item Average Cost
Drilling $15 – $25 per foot
Pump System $300 – $2,000
Add Electric Line $500 – $1,500
Water Treatment $638
Permit $564
Lab Water Testing $395
Pressure Tank $309
Submersible Pump $308
Cycle Stop Valve $187
Control Box $71
Pressure Switch $47
Well Cap / Seal $18
Control Panel Wiring Kit $6

Well Water Pump

Well pumps cost $400 to $2,500 to install depending if it's a shallow well pump or a deep well pump, and the degree of incline from the well to the storage tank. Different types of wells require specific pumps. Some need to be submersed while others are placed outside the well.

If your well is deeper than 150 feet, or if there is an incline, you'll need a stronger pump.

Well Water Pumps
Type Average Cost Description
Shallow Well Jet Pump $400 – $1,000 For wells 25’ deep or less. Placed outside the well and covered with housing. A tank or a booster ensures constant water pressure, and has overload protection which prevents motor burnout.
Deep Submersible Well Pump $1,000 – $2,500 Submersed inside wells 90’ – 300’ deep. Recommended using a 3-wire pump for easier maintenance. Repairing 2-wire pump's requires raising it to the surface first.
Convertible Jet Well Pump $400 – $1,200 For shallow wells and deep wells up to 90’ deep. Not submersible; placed outside the well and covered with housing. Useful in areas where the water table fluctuates.

Well Casing Cost

Installing or replacing well casing costs $6 per foot for PVC casing to $130 per foot for stainless steel pipe casing. An average well needs 25' of casing below the surface that costs $250 to $2,500 depending on soil conditions.

There are different types of casing, depending on where you live: steel, stainless steel, PVC, or concrete. Well casing supports the wall of the well and keeps dirt and rocks out of your water. Well casing is not required when drilling through hard rock as it provides its own support.

Well casing cost per foot - chart
Well casing cost per foot - chart
Well Casing Cost
Type Average Cost Per Foot
PVC $6 – $10
Galvanized Steel Pipe $33 – $54
Stainless Steel Pipe $57 – $129

Earthquake-prone areas require steel casing that won’t snap if the earth shifts. Casing should be at least 5 inches nominal inside diameter, and at least 1 inch larger than the outer diameter of pumping equipment installed.

Cost To Put In Well and Septic System

septic system costs $3,500 to $8,500 to install by itself on average. The cost to put in a well and septic system ranges from $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the type of septic system, type of absorption field, size of the septic tank, and depth of well drilling required.

Most rural or off-grid homes use a well to deliver fresh water and a septic system to dispose of wastewater. Sometimes, homeowners have a choice between digging their own, or hooking into municipal water and sewer systems.

Well Caps and Seals Cost

Sealing or capping a well costs $20 to $40 and are required to keep your well safe from contaminants.

  • For capped wells, the water and power lines are underground. In northern regions where the frost line is 3 – 4 feet deep, there will be a sanitary well cap on the well above ground, and the pump will be suspended on a pitless adapter below the frost line.

  • For sealed wells, the water and power lines pass through a gasket.

Well Water Storage Tank Cost

The cost of well water storage tanks runs from $104 for a 2-gallon tank to $714 for a 44-gallon tank. Water tanks, or pressure tanks, draw water from the well and keep it under pressure, and delivered immediately when someone uses an appliance or a faucet in your home.

Cost Factors To Dig A Well

Many different factors determine the cost to dig a well, such as the depth and diameter of drilling, ground conditions, water testing, your location, permits, and more.

  1. Depth of drilling or digging

  2. Diameter of well

  3. Well Casing

  4. Permits

  5. Water volume requirements

  6. Ground conditions

  7. Availability of electricity

  8. Equipment transportation

  9. Pump and control panel

  10. Materials (screens, seals, etc.)

  11. Test pumping

  12. Excavation

  13. Water testing laboratory analysis

  14. Water treatment system

Shallow vs. Deep Well Depth

The drilling depth to water and bedrock and the well's diameter are the most significant cost factors. The average well is drilled 100 to 300 feet deep, while some shallow wells only go down to 25 feet to reach groundwater. The diameter of residential wells are often 4 or 6 inches, which dictates the amount of water flow.

Shallow vs. Deep Well
Shallow Well Deep Well
Average 25' to 50' deep Average 100' to 300' and deeper
Dug well have a 3' to 10' diameter; sand point wells use 1-1/4” pipe inside the well casing Typically 4" to 6" diameter; uses 2” or greater pipe inside the well casing
Can go dry during a drought Doesn’t go dry; A deeper and wider well increases well yield.
Can be contaminated with E. coli or chloroform Uncontaminated if you and your neighbors install it according to regulations

Contractors digging wide borehole for shallow water well
Contractors digging wide borehole for shallow water well

Ground Conditions

The geologic makeup of the ground dictates the difficulty of drilling, which affects the cost. Some wells drilled through rock are 400 feet deep. The differences in cost can be:

Well Drilling Cost Estimate By Ground Conditions
Condition Cost Difference
Easy -34%
Moderate -16.22%
Partial Rock +92.34%
Dense Rock +155.38%

A geotechnical survey costs $1,000 to $5,000 to assess the ground composition and groundwater levels before drilling a well.

Well Drilling Costs By State

The cost to drill a well depends on your soil conditions and water levels, which vary based on your location. Below are the approximate costs by state for drilling, casing, and complete well water system.

Well Drilling Costs By State
State Average Cost Per Foot
Alabama $27 – $59
Alaska $34 – $75
Arizona $27 – $58
Arkansas $26 – $57
California $30 – $65
Colorado $28 – $62
Connecticut $30 – $66
Delaware $29 – $63
District of Columbia $31 – $69
Florida $26 – $58
Georgia $27 – $59
Hawaii $33 – $73
Idaho $25 – $55
Illinois $29 – $63
Indiana $27 – $59
Iowa $27 – $59
Kansas $28 – $61
Kentucky $27 – $59
Louisiana $28 – $61
Maine $27 – $58
Maryland $29 – $62
Massachusetts $31 – $69
Michigan $28 – $62
Minnesota $28 – $61
Mississippi $26 – $58
Missouri $27 – $59
Montana $27 – $59
Nebraska $26 – $56
Nevada $28 – $62
New Hampshire $28 – $61
New Jersey $30 – $67
New Mexico $26 – $56
New York $30 – $65
North Carolina $27 – $59
North Dakota $29 – $64
Ohio $28 – $61
Oklahoma $27 – $58
Oregon $27 – $59
Pennsylvania $28 – $61
Rhode Island $29 – $64
South Carolina $28 – $61
South Dakota $26 – $58
Tennessee $27 – $60
Texas $28 – $62
Utah $27 – $59
Vermont $27 – $58
Virginia $27 – $59
Washington $28 – $61
West Virginia $27 – $58
Wisconsin $28 – $61
Wyoming $28 – $61

Distance To House

A main water line typically costs $30 to $60 per foot to install. Adding a power line to your well costs $1,500 on average, while a solar-powered pump costs $1,500 to $3,000 to install. Install your well close to the house to save on piping costs for water and electricity.

Every county’s building department has different requirements for the location of a well, but the minimum distances from the wellhead are:

  • 5 – 10 feet from your property line

  • 50 feet from your septic tank

  • 100 – 200 feet from the septic tank drain field and utility lines

Well Permits

Well permits cost $350 to $700 on average, depending on where you live. A residential permit typically includes multiple inspections to ensure the well is drilled correctly, capped, and connected to the water main of your home. A permit is generally not required when a well is less than 2” in diameter.

The water will be tested to make sure it's safe to drink, and you'll receive a report about the mineral content and whether any contaminants are present. Different counties will have different permit fees and regulations. Check with your county clerk’s office to file a water well permit application.

Well Water Testing Cost

Well water testing costs $20 to $150 for DIY kits or $50 to $650 to hire a government or university lab for professional testing. Lab testing checks for contaminants, chemicals, metals, and pollutants and provides an analysis with recommendations. Testing is required to make sure your drinking water is safe.

Well water testing cost - chart
Well water testing cost - chart
Well Water Testing Cost
Company Average Cost
Clean Water Testing $80 – $399
Safe Home $160 – $325
Water Check $120 – $230
US Water Company $95 – $369
My Tap Score $139 – $650

Numerous water contaminants should be tested for such as—E. coli, bacteria, fluoride, arsenic, copper, lead, radon, iron, radium, nitrate, nitrite, uranium, methane gas, pesticides, manganese or sulfur, MTBE, tannins, and general pH being the main concerns.

Private Well vs. Municipal Water System

The cost of electricity to run a private well is about $3 per month and water is free. Once the water well is paid off, the average family of four saves $250 to $500 per year, or more if the well is used for irrigation.

Private Water Well vs. Municipal Water
Payment (Per Month) Municipal Water Water Well
12,000 to 24,000 Gallons
$20 – $40 $0
Electricity $0 $3.46
Loan Cost
Over 15 Years (Optional)
$0 $65 – $142
Maintenance $0 $10 – $20

Get free estimates from well drillers near you.

A municipal water bill may include sewer costs that you'll still have to pay for with a well, unless you own a septic system.

Well drilling FAQs

Can I Put A Well On My Property?

If you are the landowner, you may drill a well on your property after meeting all local and state requirements and by filing a permit application. Your chosen location to put a well should be accessible to drilling or digging equipment.

How Deep to Drill for Water?

Water wells for residential use are typically drilled 100 to 300 feet deep, although the rule is to drill until you hit water. The proper depth to drill depends on the underground water levels in your area. Local well drillers and neighbors can give you a general idea of how deep to drill.

How Long Does It Take to Drill a Water Well?

A water well takes 1 to 3 days to drill depending on the depth to water, the drilling diameter, ground conditions, and weather. Getting equipment to the job site, drilling, setting up a pump system, running electricity, and testing the water takes 7 days for the entire process.

Time It Takes To Drill A Water Well
Task Days
Hauling & Setting Up Equipment 1
Drilling 1 – 2
Installing Pump System 0.5
Running Electricity 0.5
Water Testing 1 – 3

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Well?

The average cost to maintain a well $150 to $350 per year for regular maintenance from your well company. Check with your well contractor to see if maintenance is included in the quoted price. Well maintenance includes:

  • A flow test to make sure the pump is pumping as desired

  • Water lever check

  • Pump motor performance check

  • Pressure tank and switch check

  • General water check

  • Water testing

  • Well equipment check

After the maintenance visit, you should receive a well-written report of the findings along with any recommendations for the continued health of your well. If the water in your area has specific problems, like contamination, additional maintenance is required to keep the water clean.

What Is a Good Static Water Level in a Well?

The static water level is the measurement from the top of the water level inside the well to the top of the earth. When your well was drilled, the contractor noted your static water level. As long as it’s within a few feet of that number, it’s considered good. The static water level is best determined when you have not run water for several hours.

How Long Does a Water Well Last?

A professionally installed water well lasts up to 40 years with proper maintenance and care, although it could dry up at any time. A poorly installed well may only last 12 to 15 years. A water well pump only lasts 8 to 15 years before it needs to be replaced.

Can a Well Dry Up?

A well dries up when water levels drop below the pump intake. Water levels may return through aquifer recharge, where water moves downward from surface water to groundwater, or pumping is lessened. To determine if a well has gone dry, hire a well company to measure the water levels.

Warning signs that your well may dry up are:

  1. Muddy looking water

  2. The taste has changed

  3. Faucets sputtering with air

Before you call a well company, check to be sure you don’t have a blown fuse to your water pump.

Do You Have A Water Bill With Well Water?

There are no monthly water bills with wells. However, electricity costs $2 to $4 per month to power the pump. Maintenance costs $10 to $20 per month to occasionally replace the well pump, pressure tank, and filters.

Hiring a Well Drilling Company

Since it's impossible to know how deep you'll need to drill, it's difficult to acquire a set price quote before beginning work on the well.

If the contractor does not find water in the drilling site, they'll try another location, but you'll have to pay for the drilling for both sites.

Before hiring a well drilling company, be sure to:

  • Get at least three bids

  • Collect all contracts and bids in writing before drilling starts.

  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Check the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) to ensure the contractors are certified.

  • Verify their licenses and insurance.

  • Look for positive online reviews from HomeGuide and Google.

  • Ask the contractors for references and call their past customers.

  • Don't give the final payment until the job is complete.

Questions to ask well drillers

  • How deep are wells in this area?

  • How much will my new well cost to drill?

  • What steps will you take to ensure there is water below the drill site?

  • If you drill and do not find water, do you cover the expense of re-drilling?

  • How long have you been in business?

  • How many wells have you installed?

  • Can you provide references and a portfolio showing your work?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • Does the estimate include the well pump, casing, pressure tank, and everything else needed to operate?

  • What additional costs should I expect?

  • What permits do I need, and will you obtain them?

  • How long will the installation take?

  • How many people will be working on the project?

  • Is a warranty included, and if so, what does it cover?

Related articles