Gutter downpipe into soil

18 Apr 2024
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United Kingdom

I recently had a blocked downpipe on the side of my house and having cleared this found that the issue was that the downpipe is discharging the rain water directly into what I assume is some sort of Gully just under the surface of the soil near the building. See photo.

I have lived in my 1970s house for nearly 30 years and have just realised what was happening. I always thought that the downpipe was discharging rain water into the sewers. This is obviously not the case.

Any idea what this things is shown in the photo?

This thing became blocked up and caused the downpipe to block.

I recently dug out a small soakaway filled with gravel to assists drainage. The downpipe is directly over this soakaway but still quite near the building.

I have no damp or other problems but would like to know if this situation is ok (was this how things were down sometimes back in the 1970s?). I assume it is ok as there are no problems but I find it strange as to why the rain water is not diverted away from the building.

Any comments most appreciated.
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Clear it out but if its not a problem don't fix it, lots of “informal” soakaways in older buildings. But it might make a surveyor anxious on a sale.
Yes, when the house was built 50 years ago, I believe that the feeling was that the downpipe could drain below the foundations into gravel (a type of soaraway or informal as you say.

I'm wondering if the drain pipe bend shown in the photo was always there as the top looks like the top of a gully. Could have been put there to look like there was a proper soaraway plumbed in.

Probably a case of different time, different building standards.
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I have the same arrangement but my clay pipe runs down the garden several meters.
The existing 1970s soakaway under the foundations is still being used so no compliance with the 5m B Regs required. I have merely aided drainage on the surface which aides the flow of surface water ultimately destined for the existing soakaway.
I'm not sure we have the same arrangement at all TBH
No lingering surface water present. I also looked on the UK soil observatory for my location and the soil is classified as Sand to sandy loam.
I did a percolation test in a pit I dug of 30cm square size which I filled with water and saw it fully drain within 10 minutes.
So drainage is no issue.
I think this is why the builders didn't build a soakaway 50 years ago.
It's pretty standard for a 1970's property. The only thing I would do if it were me is try and extend it so the soak away is heading away from the house and it's foundations. I'm guessing there's no damp or other problems so really it's not a huge issue - more of a bolt and braces thing as I love the keep houses and their foundations as dry as i can.

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