A Rainwater Soakaway: What Is It?

Published On: December 16, 20220 Comments on A Rainwater Soakaway: What Is It?Last Updated: January 29, 20244.2 min read

Nowadays, in the UK, installing a soakaway, sometimes referred to as a French drain, is critical to addressing both the efficiency of sewage drainage systems and groundwater runoff. Although rain is an unavoidable and integrated part of life in the UK, paying the fees associated with the buildup of rainfall that drains off your home is never enjoyable. In light of this, what precisely is a rainwater soakaway?

building rainwater soakaway

In order to handle groundwater through a septic system or another alternative distribution channel, a drainage ditch called a rainwater soakaway is excavated from the surrounding soil. Common materials for rainwater soakaways include gravel, stone, and even plastic soakaway crates. We will examine a soakaway’s function in managing surface water runoff, its definition and relationship to a septic tank, who needs a soakaway, how to create a soakaway, and other related issues. So continue reading to learn everything there is to know about rainwater soakaways.

How Does a Rainwater Soakaway Act to Eliminate Groundwater?

Every property has a drainage system that collects rainwater from the roof and sends it down an outlet pipe. However, rainwater and extra surface water must go somewhere, and this is normally done by being collected and processed through a soakaway. Soakaways are a fantastic technique to recharge the groundwater table and create a more environmentally friendly living space. Buildings without access to a proper sewer network or watercourse may frequently experience uncomfortable water logging.

There is a constant requirement to pump the extra roof water away from the house in order to get ready for the next occurrence of rainfall. Due to their operation as a reverse funnel that leaks water rather than retaining it, rainwater soakaways are useful in this situation. Because the soakaways evacuate the water, they can be utilised to prevent flood problems on any surface, including highways and residences. Overall, this is amongst the most straightforward and ecologically advantageous systems, with minimal need for maintenance and very little negative environmental impact.

The Size of a Soakaway

To guarantee that surface water is properly draining in line with the overall drainage area in the underlying soil, a soakaway should be sufficiently large. To make sure the soakaway is big enough to store the necessary runoff, the length of a rainwater soakaway should be calculated. The amount of water needed is determined by comparing the runoff from a storm event of a certain duration that enters the soakaway with the water that infiltrates into the nearby sediments during rainy season.

When sizing a soakaway, it’s also crucial to consider the depth of the soakaway. This is so that there is a larger surface area for infiltration and a larger volume for storage the deeper the soakaway. Wider dimension soakaways can have a similar impact, but a profound soakaway is far more effective at boosting infiltration. The same factors also apply to soakaway crates, however because of their high void proportion, it is frequently enough to simply measure the soakaway to the needed storage amount.

soakaway system

Nevertheless, as this is a hole in the ground, the storage capacity offered in the annulus (ring channel) is frequently smaller than that in the compartment and may even decrease over time as sediments accumulate from run-off. Because of this, the annular area’s storage capacity is occasionally overlooked. In other words, a soakaway’s size should be sufficient to hold runoff without overflowing the spillway.

Who Needs a Soakaway for Rainwater?

Having a soakaway is typically a good idea, based on the numerous building laws pertaining to your region’s drainage systems. The greatest alternative if you are severely limited by an absence of access to a suitable stream is to purchase a soakaway. Making sure that a soakaway is established is vital for people who live in places where storm water is a problem. This is so that, when placed properly, the soakaway recycles the groundwater, resulting in little environmental damage. A soakaway for rainwater also benefits the neighbourhood because there is no risk of water-borne illnesses. Finally, a properly established soakaway makes sure that the water is stored in an unobtrusive manner and it won’t be visible from the local street. This helps maintain the area’s aesthetic appeal.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, rainwater soakaways are a helpful way to eliminate groundwater, reduce flooding risks and provide an environmentally friendly means of storing rainwater runoff. It is important to ensure that the size of the soakaway is adequate for the required storage capacity and that it is installed in a way that minimises any potential environmental damage.

Ultimately, should you find yourself with an absence of access to a proper sewage system, or watercourse, investing in a rainwater soakaway could be the perfect option. If you have a blocked drain in Chelmsford, for example, then you may need to get the help of a professional contractor in order to properly install a soakaway.

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