How to Install a Soakaway: A Step-by-Step Guide to Proper Drainage System Implementation
Whether you’re considering a domestic or commercial property, proper drainage is paramount to ensure you’re taking the best care of your property now and into the future. There are a number of avenues available when it comes to ensuring proper drainage of rainwater and other water wastes on your property.
To comply with UK government regulations and ensure the best outcome for your property, it is important to understand the factors that contribute to proper drainage system implementation. The following information will guide you on installing a soakaway and offer a step-by-step guide to proper drainage system implementation.
Assessing Drainage Needs
Before choosing the correct drainage system for your property, it’s important to understand the drainage needs of your property and soil type. This can only be properly assessed by a percolation test by an experienced drainage specialist. A percolation test is one of three mandatory tests for determining appropriate surface water drainage options. It determines the rate in which the soil is permeable and should be carried out to determine the capacity of the soil to regulate the flow of surface water.
While installing a soakaway is often a good option as a drainage system, UK building regulations govern whether it is the correct type of infiltration drainage system for a given property. This soakaway installation guide will help you understand how to choose and implement a proper drainage system for your property.
Choosing the Right Soakaway Design
Surface water run off can have serious implications for a property if it isn’t managed correctly. Guidance from an experienced drainage specialist can help take the headache out of choosing the right soakaway design. Some of the factors to be considered are the size of the area, the soakage capacity of the ground, correct gradient per diameter of drains, and whether you are installing a soakaway for surface water only or to accommodate sewage wastewater as well. You also need to consider whether your soakaway needs to be able to withstand the weight of a vehicle such as in a driveway.
Traditionally, soakaways were created by filling a pit or trench with rubble. The storage volume of rubble-filled soakaways is significantly less than the storage capacity of soakaway crates. For the purposes of this soakaway installation guide we’ll focus on soakaway crates installation.
Obtaining Necessary Permits and Permissions
In the UK, drainage and waste disposal is regulated as per Approved Document H: Drainage and Waste Disposal. There is a further Manual of Good Practice for Infiltration Drainage, which outlines important information for installing soakaways. Working with an experienced drainage expert is one way of ensuring you have complied with all necessary permits and permissions for both replacing existing soakaways and installing new soakaways.
Step-by-Step Soakaway Installation Process
- Contact a drainage specialist to assess the drainage needs of your property. This will include a percolation test, done over a minimum of three days to ensure minimum and maximum deluges and the rate of permeability of the soil under each condition.
- Once you know the storage volume required for your property and the correct location and depth of the soakaway, order the soakaway crates, geo-textile membrane, and silt-trap/pre-filter for the soakaway.
- Dig the hole for the soakaway and pipes, ensuring sufficient depth to include a base layer of rock/rubble, the soakaway crates and pipes.
- Lay the base layer evenly in the bottom of the drainage system hole.
- Insert the geo-textile membrane into the hole.
- Place soakaway crates into the hole and secure with cable ties or other provided mechanism to lock together.
- Join the flow pipe to the soakaway crates ensuring the membrane is in place around all parts of the drainage system. Your drainage expert may advise including a silt trap/pre-filter above the soakaway to ensure longevity and efficiency of your drainage system.
Backfilling and Finishing Touches
Once the soakaway crates installation is complete, backfill around the crates to ensure they are correctly and firmly in place. Replace the surface of the drainage system area with chosen soil/ ground cover, then tidy the area and add any finishing touches to ensure your drainage system is aesthetically pleasing as well as practical and efficient.
Post-Installation Inspection and Maintenance
Whether you’re replacing an outdated soakaway or installing a new drainage system, you need to have confidence that you’ve met all building regulations for the soakaway crates installation and that the system is maintained correctly post installation.
OMDI is a family-run drainage specialists business that is committed to ensuring you are informed and compliant from the assessment stage through to installation and maintenance of your soakaway crates drainage system. Contact OMDI today to discuss your surface water drainage system needs.