What to Know Before Installing a Soakwell

13 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog

One of the important structural considerations when designing a new home is the diversion of water away from the property. Installing a soakwell is the best way to ensure that your property will not be damaged by floods, soil erosion and storm water runoff during the rainy season. They also prevent runoff water from your property from flowing into neighboring houses.

Soakwells are installed beneath the ground and can be made from different materials and in different capacities. Rainwater is diverted into an inlet pipe which directs it into the soakwell, which then drains it into the ground. Before having one installed in your home, it is important to understand the following.

When a soakwell is needed

Any new construction project interferes with the way rainwater flows into the soil. Before construction, water is usually evenly distributed. However, after construction, water becomes focused on one area, leading to flooding. If no action is taken to ensure flow of water is normalized, flooding, soil erosion and weakening of building foundations is experienced. Soakwells are installed to direct this water into a particular direction for it to drain underground a safe distance away from the building.

In various countries, local authorities require that rainwater that lands on a property be contained within the borders of that property. This can only be achieved effectively through installation of a soakwell.

Requirements of installation

During soakwell installation, care should be taken to ensure that they allow enough capacity for the storm water runoff. Excavation should also be done with care to avoid disruption of the soil compaction around your house, which could weaken its foundation. They should be installed at a considerable distance away from any boundary and footing. Adequate separation should be observed from gas and electric pipes during installation to ensure that such systems are not tampered with by the flowing rain water.

Type of soil in the area

The type of soil in the area is an important consideration. Most types of soil are generally weakened by water. Silt and sand soils, though affected by water, are less likely to suffer from foundation movement and are suitable for construction. Clay soil may be difficult to install on as it swells when wet and cracks when dry and may lead to weakening of your building's foundation. In such a case, it is recommended to construct impervious pavements such as concrete around the entire perimeter of the house.

It is important to have your soakwell installed by an expert drain installer to ensure that you get advice on the best type of system based on the location of your property and the soil condition in the area. They will also ensure that the drainage site is adequate and suitable for your home.