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A buyer’s guide to soakaway crates

A buyer’s guide to soakaway crates

During heavy periods of rain, it’s common for surface water to develop on the ground. However, if this is happening more and more often, it may be time you invested in a soakaway.

What is a soakaway?

A soakaway is an underground drainage feature used to manage surface water.

Rather than discharging surplus water to the sewer or watercourse, it slowly releases it into the ground – eliminating flooding and damage to your property’s foundations.

Traditionally, a soakaway was a large pit filled with hardcore, stones and gravel. The only problem with this arrangement was that, over time, silt and debris filled the gaps between the stones – leaving water with nowhere to go.

These days, soakaway crates are the best solution for combatting excess surface water.

They resemble old-style milk crates and can be stacked on top of or next to each other to create a system that’s as big as you need it to be. Soakaway crates are laid on a bed of shingle and also have a permeable membrane which allows water to percolate into the soil at a steady rate, preventing waterlogging.

How do you install soakaway crates?

Building a soakaway is a relatively straightforward process with plastic soakaway crates. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Before you get started, you’ll need to contact your local planning department for approval. This is because areas that are protected or near a watercourse are unsuitable for soakaways.

Once you get the thumbs up from them, the next step is to arrange a percolation test to determine the absorption rate of your soil. Sandy and loamy soils are best. If the soil is too soft, it’ll absorb the water and not release it – rendering the soakaway useless.

You should also check your chosen location for pipes and cables. If you damage them while constructing your soakaway, it’ll end up being a costly installation.

What materials are required?

When constructing a soakaway, you’ll need to acquire the following:

  • Soakaway crates – these modular cells are designed to control the level of surface water, particularly in areas that are prone to flooding. You can stack them side by side or on top of each other to create a system that meets your size requirements.
  • Geotextile membrane – this permeable fabric is to be wrapped around each side of your soakaway crate to prevent unwanted materials from entering the drainage system. Use staples or tape to hold it in place.
  • Silt trap – prevent debris and silt from building up inside your drainpipes and reduce the risk of blockages and flooding with a silt trap. You will need to empty it from time to time, but it will effectively prolong the lifespan of your drainage system.
  • Shingle – after lowering your plastic soakaway crates into the trench and connecting them to the drainage system, fill the sides and back with shingle. Another layer of shingle can be applied on top of the crates, along with the excavated soil.
  • Gravel – finishing off your soakaway with gravel is a great idea. It looks good, requires minimal maintenance and can easily be topped up over the years.

Where can I buy top-quality soakaway crates?

A quick search online for ‘soakaway crates’ will reveal that they are widely available.

However, you want to trust that you’re purchasing the highest quality products and receiving maximum value for your money. And the best way to do so is to go to a reputable company like Build Plumb Plastics.

Not only will they have an extensive range of soakaway crates on offer, but they’ll also be able to advise you on the most suitable ones for your project requirements. They can even answer any questions you may have.

So, what are you waiting for?

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