DrainChecker Blog

What a Failed or Broken Soakaway means for you

If you’ve recently been told that you have a soakaway in need of a repair, you may be wondering exactly what the problem is.

What is a Soakaway?

A soakaway system, also known as a drainage field, is a network of perforated or slotted pipework. Its job is to carry waste water away from the septic tank or sewage treatment plant. This treats the waste water and allows it to pass through the ground without causing any form of pollution; it’s better for the environment and better for you.

What’s causing the issue?

If you’ve noticed an unpleasant looking puddle of dirty water above ground, it could be a sign of a failed or broken soakaway. You may also notice nasty smells and a septic tank or sewage treatment plant that needs to be emptied more often, potentially because the waste water is backing up.

Soakaways can become damaged for a number of different reasons, including roots and shrubs that have grown through soakaway pipes. Other reasons include vehicles that have driven over soakaways, causing pressure on the pipework and damage to septic tanks that have caused the wrong type of waste to leave the tank.

What are my options?

Solutions to soakaway drainage issues can vary depending on the issue. Unfortunately, it’s rarely possible for a soakaway system to be repaired, and therefore it will need to be replaced by a professional rather than at home through DIY. This is because of the type of pipes used in soakaways and the ground surrounding becomes polluted when a soakaway is damaged which is irreversible. This also means that it is unlikely to be possible to replace a soakaway system where it is currently located.

A professional will need to conduct a percolation test prior to installing a new soakaway drainage system. A percolation test is crucial to understanding whether the ground at your property is suitable for the new system.

With the necessary amount of room available and correct percolation test results, you may be able to locate a new soakaway system within your garden. If not, do not worry as there are other options available. A drainage professional will be able to talk you through your choices.

If you’re concerned you’re soakaway drainage system is currently experiencing issues, the team at We Love Drains are here to help. For more information, you can contact us here or by giving us a call on 0800 849 8099.