How To Unblock A Soakaway
A soakaway is a system in which a hole has been dug in the ground, filled with a material or a soakaway crate which allows surface water to percolate back into the earth close to where it falls. Although other materials can be used to fill the soakaway holes, soakaway crates are now a more favoured option as they are lightweight with a high void ratio that can be used in residential, commercial, industrial and retail applications.
Identifying a Blocked Soakaway
The most obvious signs of a blocked soakaway will be apparent near the location of the soakaway itself. There may be dips in the ground or water logging, or there may be water pollution nearby.
Reasons for a Blocked Soakaway
It can be hard to tell exactly what has caused your blocked soakaway, but these are a few of the most common reasons:
- Compacted soil - This is most likely to happen when there is significant traffic over the site, causing the soil to build up and become so compact that the water cannot seep through.
- Pipes can collapse causing a disruption in the flow of wastewater.
Unblocking a Blocked Soakaway
With soakaways being located underground, unblocking one can be quite difficult, but before you get your spade out, you should check that the issue isn’t actually the surrounding ground. If there is a high clay content, water may not permeate into the ground at all. If that fails, you’ll need to dig out the soakaway. It might be that the membrane needs replacing. You can then reuse the same crate of stones that were previously used.
For a reliable soakaway system, we recommend using soakaway crates as they can be wrapped in a geotextile membrane to help maintain efficiency. If you require any further information about soakaway systems, take a look at our guides and tips section, with topics covering installation, maintenance and more.