Plant & Tank Services

Soakaway Installation & Unblocking

A soakaway is an area outside of a property, usually kept underground, that’s used to dispose of excess rainwater or the wastewater that flows into a septic tank.

While solid materials are kept in a septic tank and emptied when it becomes full, a soakaway system – otherwise known as a foul water drainage field – allows the wastewater to percolate back into the earth and be disposed of in that way. This is usually achieved using a herringbone system. Prior to installation, porosity tests must be completed to enable the correct length and design of the soakaway to be completed.

A rainwater soakaway, on the other hand, allows excess rainwater to seep into the ground rather than building up and potentially causing plumbing and drainage issues. The soakaway will take surface water from your roof or driveway and pipe it to a large underground pit filled with gravel within the boundary of your property, normally 5m away from the foundations. This allows the water to drain slowly into the ground surrounding the soakaway and re-enter the watercourse.

How Drain Doctor can help

The professional, highly trained engineers at Drain Doctor have years of experience designing, installing and maintaining soakaway surface water drainage systems for residential and commercial buildings. We can guide you through the process, from initial survey through to final installation, providing a quick, conscientious and cost-effective service throughout.

When designing the right soakaway system for your property, we take a number of factors into account. That includes the size and type of the property – i.e. whether it’s residential, commercial or industrial – the number of residents, and the porosity of the soil. We will then create a proposal for the work with full costings provided upfront.

Common soakaway problems

One of the most common soakaway problems is the system becoming blocked. Signs of a blocked soakaway include dips in the ground or waterlogging near the soakaway. In extreme cases, the pipes that feed into the soakaway may even back up and overflow. A blocked soakaway can occur for a number of reasons.

Rainwater soakaways

  • Collapsed pipes within the soakaway – Vehicles driving over the soakaway or ground movement around the drainage field can damage the pipes and lead to a blockage.
  • Root ingress – Roots from surrounding trees and bushes can often find their way into the soakaway pipe causing structural damage and flow restrictions.
  • Silt build up – silt from rooftops, car parks etc can find their way into the soakaway causing the system to ‘choke’.

Foul water drainage fields

  • Flushing inappropriate items down the toilet – Flushing baby wipes, nappies, sanitary towels and anything else that shouldn’t be flushed can easily cause a blockage within a surface water soakaway.
  • Damage to the dip pipes or baffle within the soakaway – Damage to the pipes that feed the wastewater into a surface water soakaway can cause a blockage and will need to be replaced.
  • Overloading – surface water should not be allowed to enter the drainage field, when this occurs overloading of the system is likely, preventing the breakdown of the solids within the effluent.

As well as designing and installing rainwater and septic tank soakaway systems, our certified engineers can easily solve the soakaway problems you might experience. To discuss your requirements or find out more about soakaway surface water drainage systems, please get in touch with our team.

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We have been providing professional plumbing and drainage services in the UK since 1994. Currently operating in over 55 locations nationwide, residential and commercial customers trust us to deliver the highest standard of work every time.

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