Everything You Need To Know About Soakaways

Do you know what soakaway is? Or are you planning to have one installed for you? If you’re yet to learn more about this form of a drainage system, you’re in the right place. This article would provide you with everything you need to know about soakaways, from how they look to why you should have one installed, among other things. Read along to get enlightened. Also, Soakaway Crates used for either attenuation or infiltration of stormwater in residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural applications.

What’s Soakaway?

A soakaway is a hole constructed on the ground, filled with either coarse stone and rubble or plastic crates. This hole filters water through it, soaking slowly into the surrounding soil.

Soakaways control surface water at its source, serving as an alternative way of draining off surface water through a stream or sewer system. As an effective way of containing surface water, soakaways collect available surface water run-off at a specific point, percolating it in a controlled manner into the surrounding soil.

Crucial Considerations For Soakaways

Some factors can affect wastewater soakaway’s structure, design, and functioning, including the following:

  • Ground Conditions

Ground conditions of a property might change as time goes by, especially the level of groundwater or water table. When this happens, it affects the functioning of a soakaway or drainage field, causing drainage problems.

  • Percolation Tests

A percolation test is vital for assessing the ground condition’s suitability and the ideal drainage field size. It’s essential to carry out a percolation test on the property before designing and installing soakaway. You can use a soakaway size calculator to calculate the size of your soakaway.

  • Regulations

There are regulations regarding water waste soakaways to prevent environmental pollution. Among the principles, a septic tank must only discharge to a drainage field unless there’s a permit for other types of soakaway arrangements. Also, a sewage treatment plant should discharge straight to a watercourse or drainage field. Different kinds of soakaway arrangements might also require a permit.

  • Usage Of Septic Tank

How you use your septic tank can also interfere with your soakaway. Careful use of the septic tank ensures a long-lasting service from your soakaway. Ensure to have a septic treatment done carefully and know what you shouldn’t flush into your drainage system.

  • Damaged Tank

Sewage treatment plants and septic tanks are designed to prevent solid waste from entering the soakaway or drainage field. Therefore, if your septic tank is damaged, solid waste is likely to exit from it and clog the soakaway, leading to surcharging of your drainage.
If you suspect an issue with your septic tank, ensure it’s fixed as soon as possible.

Why Are Soakaways Used?

There are many reasons for using soakaways. For example, you can use them to create a stable water source for gardens and keep the ground moist. Soakaways are an excellent way to control surface water levels, prevent flooding during heavy rains, or contain excess surface water.

What Does A Soakaway Look Like?

How your soakaway looks depends on the type of soakaway you have. The following is a description of the most common ways that a soakaway system might look:

  • Rainwater

This type of soakaway is usually constructed with plastic modular storage cells, also known as soakaway crates, since they resemble regular milk. The containers are then placed in a pit on your piece of land, then connected to gutters from your home or to a land drainage pipe installed in your garden.

Afterward, the crates are covered with a geotextile membrane to prevent soil infiltration before hiding them in the ground with a layer of turf and shingle.

  • Wastewater

Wastewater soakaway or drainage field is connected to a septic tank or sewage treatment plant. This type of soakaway looks like a chain of perforated pipes laid in trenches in a piece of your land. The area near these pipes is then covered with gravel and turf or stones, and then the wastewater is released into it.

How Is A Soakaway Cleaned?

Soakaway cleaning options are limited if you’re carrying out the task yourself. If you’re having an issue with silt or mud in the rainwater soakaway pipe, you can use hot water to flush through the system. However, this is only advised if you can easily reach the problem from your garden or drive. Doing more than this can damage your system, further attracting more repair costs. It’s advisable to contact a professional to clean the pipes for you to avoid damage.


Soakaways are a great way of dealing with excess surface water. However, for your soakaway to perform at its best, you need to know more about how it functions. Also, it’d be best if you had your soakaway installed by a professional drainage company to avoid issues that might arise later due to poor installation. Additionally, it’d be best to incorporate professionals in a soakaway emergency.