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Soakaway Construction / Blocked Soakaway

Ask Us Drains Soakaway Services

Our specialist teams work across London, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk & Cambridge

  • Soakaway Construction & Installation
  • We offer a percolaton service where we dig a 1-2 metre deep hole and carry out a filtration test over a 24 hour period. This determines the size your soakaway needs to be for the coverage area. Once the filtration results are confirmed we will then offer a fixed quotation to install the new soakaway.

  • Blocked Soakaway
  • Silt, sludge and leaves accumulate over time in soakaway inlet pipes leading to surface water flooding and damage. We solve most soakaway blockages quickly and easily using our micro high pressure water jetting system. This uses a high pressure water jet to work through the drainage/blockages and uses the back wash from the jet to clear blockages away. For more complex blockages our specialist drainage technicians may need to carry out a CCTV drain inspection to identify specific issues or damage.

  • Soakaway Repair or Replacement
  • Older soakaways may cease to function effectively. In these cases we may be able to repair the soakaway. No dig technology can limit disruption. In some cases it may be necessary to install a new soakaway system.

  • Sewage Treatment Plants
  • In the event a septic tank / soakaway is not suitable to use then we can offer advice on sewage treatment installations. The systems have low daily running costs and are a good solution for domestic dwellings that don't have access to mains drainage. A Klargester / BioDisc provides a reliable, efficient and environmentally safe solution for your sewage disposal needs.

Soakaway Questions or Problems? - Contact us today

Installing a soakaway for surface water drainage

A soakaway (soak away) installation serves to provide a way for rainwater from a building to be collected and dispersed into the surrounding earth in a suitable location. An important point to remember is that this form of drainage is not workable where the soil is mostly clay, as clay based soil does not let water pass through it.

When soakaways were originally used they were basically a hole excavated in the ground and backfilled with hardcore or gravel etc.  A surface water collecting inspection chamber would have a pipe running from it to the soakaway pit. This has proven to be a problem to in some cases, due to fine earth particles which can travel with the water and eventually can block up the soakaway.

A much improved system available today uses modular attenuation cells (sometimes referred to as crates).  These are a lightweight structure made from plastic, that have a high void ratio, allowing the cells to be buried below ground giving an area for the water to be stored as it percolates into the surrounding soil.  Due to there strength they can be covered with soil, and then grassed over concealing them from sight. They can be used in Gardens, on Driveways and on Commercial sites.

Required soakaway size has to be decided in advance, as it forms part of the building regulations soakaway application.  Things that need to be taken into consideration are:

  • Soil filtration / percolator test results
  • Yearly rainfall – worst storm in 30 years / 100 years.
  • Coverage area of roof and hard standings
  • The area dug should be at least 5m away from any building, to prevent any excess water damaging the foundations.

Soakaway Construction FAQs

Why use a soakaway?

  • You are required by Building Regulations to adequately dispose of storm/rain water from your building
  • To provide an efficient way for the rain/storm water dispersal into the ground evenly and quickly
  • A soakaway must be used if all of the criterias can be met. If a soakaway and or all other methods of infiltration are not suitable, the discharging of stormwater into a drain can then be assessed

How does a soakaway work?

  • As the stormwater run-off is stored by the soakaway, it then allows the water to infiltrate into the surrounding soil
  • Stored water must be discharged quickly enough to be ready to receive the subsequent stormwater run-off
  • Water dispersal time will depend on the size and shape of the soakaway, and the infiltration level of the surrounding soil
  • You can construct a Soakaway using different types of material, and it can be in different forms

When can you use a soakaway?

  • Decide if the most suitable way of disposing of rain/storm water is by a soakaway
  • Ensure that the soil around the building is suitable for infiltration, and the site is not sloping towards any buildings. Check that the water table is not too high, and the site is not on filled ground
  • Site soakaway at least 5m from any buildings. Always check with your neighbours if the soakaway is going to be sited close to any boundaries


French Drains

Another option to consider for dispersing surface water is the installation of French drains.  These work well on disposing of water on driveways, gardens, or surrounding your property.  A simple method using a perforated pipe surrounded by gravel as shown below.

French Drain

Our Clients

City of London Ballymore Essex County Council PMS Boydens Colchester Borough Council
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