A soakaway is a large pit dug into the ground. It’s then either filled with pebbles or stones, or filled with a special attenuation crate. Rainwater that lands on your home flows off the roof into your gutters, down your drainpipes and into a long pipe that leads to the soakaway, which should be situated a decent distance from any buildings. The water fills the spaces between the stones, and then it will gradually soak away – hence the name – into the soil. Driveways and patios should also be constructed so that surface water flows off into a soakaway rather than out onto the road.
It’s important that your soakaway is the correct size for the number of downpipes leading into it, otherwise it may not be able to cope when it rains heavily. The soil also needs to be permeable, in other words water should drain into it OK. Soil that is predominantly clay may not be as permeable as chalky or sandy soils.
There are many benefits of soakaways, including not having the need for manhole covers in your garden, and reducing the amount of water going into the sewerage system. Any water flowing into your soakaway will also help irrigate your garden! They are low maintenance, so they are pretty reliable, and use minimal building materials, meaning less environmental impact. And if all the rainwater from your home goes into a soakaway rather than the public sewers, you may be able to get a rebate on your water bill.
There are also some problems associated with soakaways though – for example soakaways can get blocked by leaves, moss, and other debris, so they should be fitted with special dirt filters. And if they are too close to your home, the water could cause damage to your foundations.
If you notice your guttering overflowing, get in touch with us at Happy Drains, as it could indicate a problem with your soakaway. We can inspect, repair or replace broken soakaways, so give us a call today!