Blocked Soakaway

18 Jul 2007
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United Kingdom
My guttering currently runs into a soakaway which appears to have blocked to the point where water is backing up the downpipe and overflowing over the top. The house is 80 years old and I understand that soakaways and the approaching pipework will block eventually. I've had a drains company out who have tried to clear it however have had no joy.

So... I'm after a solution.

The company I employed have made a few suggestions however I'm not particularly happy with them:

1) Remove the current downpipe (front of house) and instead run the guttering into the soil stack at the back of the house

2) Move the current downpipe to the back of the house and connect underground into the bottom of the soil stack

3) Fit a gulley at the bottom of the existing downpipe and route from there under the driveway and into the existing drain at the back of the house. This would involve laying around 10m of pipework under a concrete driveway

I understand points 1 and 2 are not desirable (or even allowed by building regulations?) as the soil pipe would effectively be vented via the gutter rather than the top of the soil pipe which is significantly higher. Can someone confirm what building- or water- regulations this would violate, or if I've misunderstood and this is actually acceptable?

Point 3 I gather would be fine from the above perspective as the gulley would provide a water seal, however still involves running the rainwater into the foul sewage. I gather some areas have combined sewers (I'm honestly not sure what the case is at mine, how would I find out?) however I don't currently pay surface water drainage charges so presumably would need to approach Yorkshire Water to declare this and add it to my water bill. If this is even possible I'm guessing they would have the right to refuse on the basis of the additional pressures on the drainage network?

I have many more questions depending on the answers to the above, but let's start from there :D
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I'd arrived at that myself but was hoping that wouldn't be the answer!

Problem being the soakaway *appears* to be located directly under the downpipe, which is 1) far too near the house and 2) under a concrete driveway

Routing the downpipe to a soakaway in a suitable location would involve running approx 10 metres under the driveway to the back of the house then a further 5 metres under the garden (the garden I can probably deal with!)


On the back of the house is a single storey extension off which the gutter currently runs onto the garden, which isn't ideal anyway. Running this downpipe to a soakaway in the back garden would be *relatively* easy as it would only involve a 3 foot wide path then the rest would be under the lawn. However, the only way I can see of getting a downpipe from the main roof (two storeys) to here would be to run a downpipe down the back of the house and onto the roof of the extension, and rely on this running down into that gutter and into the downpipe. This doesn't seem ideal but I'm not sure what other options I have? :(

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