Why is My Soakaway Not Draining UK?

Why is my soakaway not draining UK

One of the most common problems that soakaway systems face is a blockage. The most obvious signs of a blocked soakaway are overflowing outside drains. The earth surrounding the soakaway may also become squishy underfoot or smell unpleasant. The ground may also be compacted and show indentations.

Root ingress

The biggest cause of blocked drains in the UK is tree root ingress. When a tree grows inside a drain, it can cause a blockage, which can lead to overflowing or flooding. If not remedied, this can lead to expensive drainage problems such as drain relining and pitch fibre repairs. To minimise the likelihood of this occurring, most surveyors recommend a pre-purchase CCTV drain survey. This will identify any problems that may need immediate attention.

Another common cause of soakaway blockages is damage caused by tree roots growing into the soakaway pipes. These roots can clog the pipes and make the system unusable. It is advisable to have the damaged sections replaced, or remove the trees if they are close to the soakaway. If this doesn’t help, you could consider constructing a new soakaway system in an area where there are no roots growing.

Silt traps

If your soakaway is not draining UK water properly, it could be a result of silt trapped in the pipes. Silt traps should be cleaned regularly to allow water to flow freely. You should also trim back any nearby trees to prevent damage from root growth. Finally, it is important to replace your soakaway crate every 10 to 15 years. Failure to do so could lead to expensive damage to your property.

A silt trap is a filter chamber that is installed upstream of your soakaway. It is designed to catch silt, sediment, and metals from entering your soakaway. It serves as a pre-filter and helps to ensure water quality and sustainability. It also ensures maximum water storage capacity in your soakaway.


Soakaway problems can be caused by many factors, including ground conditions and a faulty system. However, you should know that there are certain steps you can take to ensure that your system works properly. These include regular maintenance and professional diagnosis. If you are unsure as to what is wrong, consider hiring a plumber to investigate the problem and suggest a solution.

The first step is to ensure that your soakaway is designed to allow drainage. This can be done by conducting a percolation test to determine if the soil will allow the water to soak into the ground. A reputable soakaway company can carry out this test for you.

Compacted soil

When soil becomes compacted, it becomes difficult to drain a soakaway. This can be caused by heavy footfall, construction activities, or by activities that require heavy objects such as riding mowers. Regardless of the cause, compacted soil makes it difficult for water to drain and can result in a flooded garden.

Some of the signs that your soakaway is blocked include water logging or dips in the soil, pollution in ditches nearby, and gurgling sounds coming from drains. You may also notice that your indoor toilet overflows slower than usual, or that the water is overflowing in your shower or bath. If you suspect that your soakaway is blocked, you should contact a plumber to inspect it. Ensure that it receives regular maintenance to ensure that it is working properly.

Overflowing chamber

When a soakaway fails to drain properly, it can overflow. The problem can be caused by a number of reasons. These include a damaged sewage system and a failing baffle. If the baffle is damaged, waste water will not be able to pass through and can damage the soakaway.

Another cause of overflowing is the groundwater table rising higher than the outlet level of the septic tank. This can cause the soil to overflow and cause the settlement chamber to be filled with solids. This can reduce the porosity of the soil. This is why soakaways should be constructed in soil that contains sufficient oxygen content. Generally, soakaways should be built one meter below the ground surface. This depth does not include the 300mm gravel bed.

A blocked soakaway can also be caused by damage to the septic tank next to the soakaway. In addition, if the soakaway has been poorly installed or maintained, large clumps of organic waste matter may leak from it. A bad smell or abnormally boggy ground is another sign of a blocked soakaway.

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