Do’s and Don’ts when installing a plastic soakaway

Do: consider water management during planning. Don't: install them wrong. Find out more tips on what to do/don't do with soakaways in this top article.

It can be scary thought digging a huge hole in your garden for a soakaway, so before you do, here is a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to fitting your soakaway:

DO install on land which is lower than your property, or at least level, to help water flow into the system and away from your house. DON'T use a soakaway for any waste/foul water. This can clog up your soakaway and damage your soil, they’re not designed for this.
DO choose a soakaway which is big enough to accommodate water at its maximum possible rainfall. DON'T install a soakaway within 5 meters of your home or a road, it must be installed over 5 meters away.
DO choose a soakaway which has the correct loading in relation to where it will be installed; either gardens (normally 20 tonnes) or driveways (usually 40 tonnes). DON'T install a soakaway in heavy clay soil, the water cannot drain through this so it won’t work if this is in your garden.
DO dig out your hole logically and carefully. You can reuse the turf when it comes to recovering the soakaway DON'T install a soakaway if you live in a polluted area prone to smog. Soakaways are no appropriate for polluted rainwater.
DO allow for a 100mm base layer and side fill area and leave room for 500mm back fill. DON'T get planning permission. It is not needed if you are installing a soakaway within the grounds of your property.
DO try and make sure the sides and bottom of the trench are as straight and square as possible- it will make backfilling and side filling much easier.
DO use a soakaway to solve surface water drainage issues.

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