Reduce The Risk Of Flooding With Soakaways

Floods occur when the heavy and sustained periods of rainfall cause the surface water drainage system to become overloaded. The pipes simply aren't large enough to cope with the amount of rainwater that is being collected and channeled into them, so they back up and spill the water back over the ground. This can cause massive damage to business, properties and personal belongings and the recovery period from such an event is usually measured in months, sometimes even years. In the case of combined sewers (where rainwater and foul drainage flow into the same sewer pipes) raw sewage can flood homes and businesses, causing a serious health risk.

Fewer Gardens & More Driveways

The problem of over full storm drains has been exacerbated in recent years in urban areas by the amount of gardens that have been replaced by impermeable hard landscaped areas such as concrete, patios and asphalt. These areas usually incorporated a gully or channel drain that collects the rainwater and takes it to a surface water drain, where previously in a garden area the water would have drained away naturally. This effect can still be achieved by using a modern eco-friendly surface such as permeable block paving or porous asphalt.

With hotter summers and wetter winters forecast, it is important to do whatever we can to reduce the flooding risk. One possible option is to consider installing a soakaway.

What is a Soakaway

Soakaways collect rainwater and allow it to infiltrate slowly back into the ground, rather than discharging it into a public sewer. Modern soakaways are formed from strong plastic crates wrapped in a permeable membrane that join together to form a rigid structure that holds water in the voids between the plastic, allowing it to drain away whenever the ground is ready to absorb it. Soakaway crates come in various shapes and sizes but a good specialist drainage merchant will be able to calculate what size soakaway is required - architects often specify soakaway sizes by cubic metres. A good rule of thumb is that on average a 1 cubic metre soakaway will be sufficient to drain an average roof area of 50 square metres.

Geotextile Membranes

Soakaways should always be wrapped in non-woven geotextile membranes to maintain their effectiveness. Geotextile membranes serve the purpose of keeping out soil particles which would otherwise fill up the void spaces within the soakaway whilst still allowing water to filter through.

For more information on the installation of soakaways please watch our short YouTube video or visit the soakaway installation page.