What is a soakaway?
Soakaways also known as drainage pits are a simple way of collecting and dispersing surface and stormwater when the connection to the domestic drain system is impractical. Soakaways are a long-established way of dealing with rainfall. They are essentially a pit in the ground into which you run your rainwater drainage.
The overall idea is much the same — a way of disposing of surplus water slowly, by directing it away from the house or hard standing and letting it seep into the ground. This mitigates flooding and stops damage to the house and its foundations.
How to build a soakaway?
Constructing a soakaway is a relatively simple affair. You dig a hole in the ground and then backfill it with some material which will have enough voids in it to absorb large volumes of water and yet strong enough to be covered over so that you wouldn’t know it was there. When it comes to constructing a soakaway, the traditional way was to dig a hole and fill it with broken brick and builder’s rubble. This is cheap to do, but it limits the actual volume available for the rainwater to collect. The modern option is to use dedicated plastic boxes, known as soakaway or attenuation crates. These leave virtually the whole space open to be filled with rainwater and are therefore much more effective. The crates can be assembled two or three deep and clipped together for strength, and in varying depths.