Do Soakaways Work?

What is a Soakaway?

Basically it’s a pit dug out and filled with hard core (rubble or stones) into which waste water is piped with the idea that it drains out slowly into the surrounding soil. They are used as a drainage solution to waterlogged ground.

Soakaways are put in either by a garden business or a householder doing it themselves. However, Mole often get called out to look at a better garden drainage solution after a Soakaway has been put in, as it hasn’t worked effectively. Why not? Because unfortunately Soakaways don’t work in many parts of the UK.

Why don’t Soakaways always work?

They can work if they are done properly in the right sort of ground conditions.

Usually French drains (trench filled with rubble) are run from the problem patch to a pit full of loose stones, people think water then soaks into ground hence, “soakaway”, but often it can hold the water like a pond. Maybe on a bigger area of land the Soakaway can be well away from the problem area, maybe down a hill – but the area will get boggy. This is therefore not a solution as you still have an area that is mushy underfoot. Soakaways in solid clay won’t work as there is nowhere for water to soak out to (clay pots are watertight!)

What are the alternatives?

A garden drainage pump is a more logical and longer term solution because it extracts the water out of the garden and maintains a lower water table – around 1m below the table. The extracted filtered water (a membrane is put in to stop sand and stones) is pumped via an air gap into a gully at your house, maybe the one your rainwater from the roof goes into. Mole’s garden drainage system costs more than a simple Soakaway as it is a more sophisticated system which is tailored to suit the individual case: factors need to be taken into account like types of soil, source of land lying water, elevation etc. Soakaways may be simple but they are not always effective.

Our Process

Get in touch

Call us on 0333 335 9929 and tell us about your problem. Don’t worry, won't ‘hard sell’, we’ll just ask a few basic questions about the job.

Get an estimate

We can usually give you an estimate without coming out to you – we use Google Earth and 3D imaging to see what problem is.

Get the job done

If you’re happy with the estimate, we will arrange a site visit. We will have seen problems like yours before and successfully fixed them

Frequently Asked Questions

How does your system work?

It is our own unique pumped system which costs little over a penny a day to run. Water is filtered and excess water is discharged into the existing drain system.

Do you follow the herringbone layout of French drains?

No. The herringbone layout is a “one size fits all” approach which does not address the specific elements of each site. As engineers we look for the causes of the situation in order to affect a long term resolution – sometimes that involves using a herringbone layout, but sometimes it will be a different system that will give you the best results.

How long after installation will my garden take to dry out?

It varies depending on weather, severity and time of year, but you should start to see an immediate improvement and a reduction in standing water.

Mole Group are expert garden drainage engineers

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Where To Find Us

Mole HQ, Wirral
Mole Group Utilities Ltd, 180-200 Pensby Road, Heswall, Wirral, CH60 7RJ

Piccadilly Business Centre, Aldow Enterprise Park, Manchester, M12 6AE

North East
Unit 3 Ayton Workshops, 25 Raby Cross, Commercial Road, Byker, NE6 2FF

33 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1AD

South West
4 Staffick Close, Kenton, Exeter, EX6 8NS

Fronfellen House, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9TF