Surrey's premier domestic and commercial Drainage Specialist
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19 Dec 2018

Soakaway installation

A soakaway is a hole dug into the ground filled with rubble and coarse stone to allow surface water to percolate back into the earth close to where it falls.

As part of a drainage system it is efficient and is a low environmental-impact method of dealing with surface water (also called runoff, rain water or storm water). There is a pipe leading into the soakaway from the area where there is excess water – think of it like a gutter from a roof, a driveway drain or a French drain.


The make up of the ground affects the soakaway design. The soil where the soakaway is planned needs to be have good drainage properties. It is pointless sinking a soakaway in clay, because it will hold the water and you effectively create a large puddle.


You typically need a soakaway if you have areas on your property that are waterlogged or have standing water building up against walls. Installing drainage to remove surface water prevents short and long term water damage and damp to your buildings.

If you are using hard landscaping in your garden or building a driveway it is advisable to ensure that surface water is dealt with as part of the project. It’s a common mistake to direct water into the existing sewers and onto the effluent treatment systems.

A soakaway provides a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) which complies with this regulation. You should also read the building regulations on dealing with surface water at source instead of directing into existing sewer systems.

When you have drained the water from the ground you will want to direct it into the rainwater drain system of the mains drains or into a soakaway, but not into a foul water system. You should not direct rain water into a cess pit or septic tank.

22 Jul 2015
Soakaway repair

Soakaway repair

If you are having problems with blockages or leaks in your existing underground soakaway pipes we can diagnose and repair the problem.


We use a variety of processes to diagnose a problem with a soakaway depending on the symptoms including using CCTV.

Sometimes it can be as simple as a blockage in the soakaway which can be quickly unblocked. Othertimes it can be something more serious such as:

tree routes growing through the pipes

collapsed pipes caused by natural ground movement or external factors such as vehicles driving over them.

damage to the dip pipes or baffle within a septic tank.


A quick unblock is simple. Other problems can require a more involved repair. Sometimes these problems can be covered by your home insurance so it’s always useful to contact us for a chat.

Number one at clearing number twos!