Clay Soil - Soak away

21 Jul 2007
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United Kingdom
Rear garden floods, which then runs onto the patio area. The soil is clay, I have dug a large hole 1mtr deep roughly and its still clay. Appears that a normal soakaway is out of the question, unless its going to be huge, then it would just be an underground water storage facility.

Has anyone any plans for a soak-away that uses a pump? I have surface and foul sewers at the house, so the short term might be to create a soak-away with a pump system? I don't think the builder would connect it to t surface water system, however we can ask him to blank it off next to it and put the link pipe in ourselves in the future.

Any ideas?
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No point, we have a surface sewer...

We have Surface and Foul...
Are you saying that in order to collect and drain storm water successfully you need to do this at a low level and that this low level is too low for gravity to discharge it into the surface water drain?

Drop some perf' pipes into the lawn, link them to the surface drain, surround in pea gravel, cover with permeable fabric then build the lawn up higher and on top of the pipe system.
BTW it's illegal to drain into the mains, foul or surface, without Building Control consent.
Thats for the replies,

The plan could be to have a soakaway, with a high level pipe going out to the surface drain system. A design where it will attempt to soakaway, but if the soakaway (i.e. Crates) are full then the water has to go somewhere.

If it does not go somewhere, it floods onto the Patio then touches the brickwork on the house below the damp course.

I wonder how permission is granted from Building Control, I guess there always is a "fee". The village we live in, is literally stood on clay..
We had the same problem. Soakaways didn't work and Septic tank failed, therefore we needed to connect to mains which was conveniently at the bottom of the drive. We called local building control who knew the about the impermeability of the area and wrote us a letter to forward to the water company confirming that the ground was impermeable and that we had no other drainage options. I forwarded this to the water company and they granted us combined discharge into the sewer.

We also had similar levels issues, however the mains sewer was 5m deep so we carried this through and achieved gravity drainage, however at one stage when costs were looking prohibitive to dig a deep hole we investigated a pumping plant which was also approved by building control.

Ultimately we had to do the work under building notification (£250) but all letters and guidance were provided before notification.

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