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  • Mary Bell

Soakaway Drainage in Basingstoke

Updated: Sep 15, 2022


Soakaway drainage is a method of collecting rainwater runoff from buildings and properties. It involves using natural processes within the ground to store and hold water by filling a large hole in your garden with permeable materials such as rubble or brickwork known as aggregate.

The water is then stored there, allowing it to soak away into the water table beneath. Topsoil is replaced over the soakaway so that it blends in with the surrounding ground and prevents the development of a soggy area in the garden.

A soakaway drainage system is different from a drain in that it does not have an outlet at the bottom (like a drain) and instead relies on gravity for the water to flow out of the hole. It is also different from a sump because it has no pump or filter installed but instead relies on natural filtration and self-cleaning of organic matter by bacteria.

Soakaways are often confused with soak pits which are in fact smaller than and usually designed to hold only 1–2 days' worth of rainwater before needing to be emptied manually.

soakaway drainage in basingstoke

How does a soakaway work?

As the water filters downwards, it passes through tiny spaces between rock and clay particles, with some moving horizontally as groundwater and some moving vertically downwards until it reaches bedrock.

The depth at which bedrock is found varies from site to site, but once this point is reached, all water passes through bedding planes to join with other bodies of water or to flow outwards at spring points.

Once this happens, it moves much more slowly than surface water because there are fewer spaces for air to get in and out. Additionally, when groundwater flows through underground channels or fractures (a type of crack) in rocks such as limestone or sandstone, then an aquifer can form.

An aquifer is a geological layer of rock capable of storing and holding water. This is done by the spaces between sand particles or tiny fissures in sedimentary rocks. Water seeps into these cracks, dirt, and rocks, where it can remain for an indefinite period of time.

Where an aquifer is not present or suitable for your property, an alternative method, such as a soakaway drainage system, must be used to collect rainwater runoff and prevent damage to your property.

Where are soakaways used?

Post-construction soakaways are used to collect excess water from construction sites. When the construction has been completed, manufacturers install drains to remove excess water from the site and drain it into sewers or other types of drainage systems.

Soakaways will also be used for houses built in floodplains or where there are a lot of tarmacs preventing water runoff from draining naturally or in heavy clay areas, some of which are found in the Basingstoke area.

Why do I need a soakaway?

A soakaway drain can help prevent damage to your property by collecting stormwater runoff, preventing it from damaging foundations or other parts of your home or building structure.

If you don't have an artificial system that collects rainwater runoff, chances are that your basement will flood during heavy rains and snowmelt events—and those floods aren't just inconvenient; they're expensive!

The cost of replacing damaged items (and repairing any structural damage) can add up quickly if you don't take precautions beforehand by installing an artificial drainage system such as a soakaway.

Soakaways are more common nowadays than in the past when people were more likely to dig a hole and fill it with sand, which often caused flooding due to its high porosity levels - meaning it does not store water very well!

Why should I have a professional contractor build my soakaway?

On the surface, it may seem that soakaways are relatively straightforward, but in reality, they require a lot of maintenance to ensure that they continue to function as intended. This is because the main function of a soakaway is to store and slowly release water from your land, preventing flooding.

Simply digging out a hole and covering it with rubble or brickwork will not suffice; what’s important is the cover material you use for your soakaway design.

The ideal situation for any mud-brick drain installation would be where there is no overland flow on your site (i.e., rainfall infiltrates directly into soils). If this isn't possible, then we recommend using an impermeable membrane or filter fabric overtop, which has been designed specifically for use with clay soils.

In some cases, it may be necessary to clean up groundwater before disposal into sewers or rivers. In this case, you need to consider whether any potential pollutants have entered your soakaway system during installation or operation, which could require treatment before discharging wastewater back into the environment.

Pro Blocked Drains can help you by installing a filtering mechanism when they conduct your soakaway installation.

How are soakaways constructed?

Soakaways are generally built in the ground that is suitable for their construction. Soil with good permeability and suitable levels of gravel or clay can be used to build a soakaway, while sandy soils will not work.

Soakaways are usually built on the ground surface rather than in trenches, but they can also be constructed under concrete slabs, in brickwork, or even underground if required.

There are two main types of soakaway:

  • Surface - These take up less room than 'in-ground' versions but are more likely to get blocked by leaves and other debris, which could cause problems for your drainage system.

  • Vertical - These extend below ground level and so won't suffer from blockages as easily as surface ones do. However, they require more space and may need planning permission, depending on where you live.

Final words

Soakaways are an efficient way of harnessing the power of nature to store and hold rainwater, but they are trickier to build than you might think. Hence, it is essential to get professional advice on their construction.

Pro Blocked Drains in Basingstoke are experts in all matters of drainage systems and can design, build and maintain your soakaway system.

A family business with over 20 years of experience in all drainage problems, Pro Blocked Drains have nationwide coverage and engineers in Basingstoke, so we can offer you a fast, efficient, friendly local service.

With Pro Blocked Drains, we guarantee you:

  • Fully Qualified Safe Contractor Approved Workers

  • Quick Response Time

  • Full Indemnity Insurance

  • Competitive Prices

  • 24/7 drain services

  • Availability 365 days of the year

  • No Call Out Fee

  • Free Quotations

  • Friendly service

  • Guaranteed Work

  • 5-star rating

  • Peace of mind

All our staff members are highly trained and experienced in the industry, so they know exactly what they’re doing regarding drainage systems. Whether you want a soakaway built, maintained, unblocked, or upgraded, we can help.

So, if you are in Basingstoke or the surrounding areas and have a blocked soakaway or want a new soakaway installation, please contact us on 0800 611 82 99. We are always happy to help! Learn more information about Best Way to Unblock a sink.

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