What is a soakaway? An in-depth guide to what you need to know

soakaway crates are the modern alternative to rubble filled voids
(Image credit: ACO Water Management)

Soakaways can be an ideal drainage solution to deal with rainfall that doesn't naturally drain from your property. It is basically a pit in the ground into which flows rainwater drainage. Less often, soakaways are also used to dispose of effluent from septic tanks, known as "leaching fields". 

Both work in the same way — removing excess water and moving it away from a structure or hard standing. This is essentially achieved by letting the water seep into the ground. Soakaways can prevent flooding and therefore stop any potential damage to a house and its foundations.

Mark Brinkley

Mark is the author of the ever-popular Housebuilder’s Bible and an experienced builder. The Housebuilder’s Bible is the go-to hardback for self builders; originally published in 1994, it is updated every two years with up-to-date build costs and information on planning and building regulations, and is currently in its 14th reiteration.

He has written for publications such as Homebuilding & Renovating for over three decades. An experienced self builder, his latest self build, a contemporary eco home built to Passivhaus principles, was created on a tight urban brownfield plot.