Home owners click here

Copeland Soakaway Advice

12.07.2022  |  

When you look into what a soakaway is and how it works, the basic idea can be quite simple.  However, there is some confusion when it comes to the various types and what is right for your Copeland property.  In this blog, we will cover the basics of what is a soakaway, how they work, and how to keep them working and maintained.

What is a Soakaway?

In simple terms, a soakaway deals with rainwater on a property. It cannot be used for septic waste disposal. The correct term for a septic tank soakaway is a “drainage field”. The construction of soakaways and drainage fields is entirely different. We will cover drainage fields in a later blog.

A soakaway is a hole in the ground that receives rainwater from a property, for example from the roof or the hardstanding around the property, and slowly releases the water to the ground in a way that is environmentally friendly and prevents damage to your property.  Part H of the Building Regulations requires all new homes to treat surface water in this way whether connected to the mains or not. They are also used on properties that are not connected to the mains drainage system, to make sure that the septic system does not need to treat surface water.

They are effectively a hole in the ground that is filled with a material and/or crates that can hold more water by creating space, or cavities, that allow the wastewater to be slowly released into the soil.  When soakaways were first used, most people filled them with debris, gravel, and hardcore such as brinks and concrete rubble, to create a bigger capacity to fill up with water until it could dissipate into the ground.  This was not only an effective way of diverting rainwater and wastewater from a house or business premises, but it prevented the pooling of water on a property, such as in a car park or garden area.  However, this method only provided a limited capacity, or percentage of space underground, for rainwater to go.

Today, we can use soakaway crates.  There are crates that are designed for rainwater soakaway crates that help take away your surface water runoff from the guttering and your grounds, etc, and into the surrounding soil.  Whereas rainwater crates are perfect for removing the excess rainwater that falls on your property, they cannot be used to deal with the materials that come from your septic tank and are part of your home wastewater drainage system.  These crates can give you up to 95% of the space of the hole you dig, for waste rainwater to go.

Where Should a Soakaway Go?

When trying to determine where should a soakaway go, it is good to remember that your drainage system is to prevent pooling and the build-up of rainwater around your property.  It, therefore, makes sense that your Copeland soakaway should be a specific distance from your property, taking the water away from your home, driveway, and garden.  Having it installed at least 5 metres from your property should suffice, but it also depends on the size of the soakaway and the size and requirements of your property.  

How Big Should a Soakaway Be?

It depends, on the ground conditions, on the soil composition, on the depth of the water table, on the rainfall data and on the area of the roof and any hardstanding. Unblock Cumbria can provide the detailed calculations to develop the best solution for your property. You can get plenty of advice and information and drain services from Unblock Cumbria for your rainwater Soakaway.  Copeland property owners can trust our expert advice and installation services.

How to Clear a Blocked Rainwater Soakaway

Unblock Cumbria provide powerful water jetting that can clear away and remove any build-up of soil, leaves and other materials in your surface water runoff.  It is recommended that you apply filters that add a preventative barrier, the same way you would to any mains drainage system, such as filters over any grids, and regular cleaning of your guttering and other drainage areas.

For more information on the benefits, and how to clear a blocked rainwater soakaway and maintain it, contact us today.