Soakaway problems - not something that you want to spend too much of your day thinking about. Really, you'd just prefer that your septic tank and soakaway system carries on doing what it needs to do without you needing to intervene. After all, soakaway systems are tucked away underground and out of sight, so how are you meant to know if you've got a soakaway problem? And more importantly what do you need to do to fix it?
It's a good question, without a straightforward answer! There are lots of different types of soakaways, some which only deal with rain water, and some which are effectively just a rubble filled pit. But for the purpose of this article, we'll be talking about the type of soakaway which can also be referred to as a drainage field. It's essentially a network of perforated or slotted pipework which takes the waste water from a septic tank or sewage treatment plant, and allows it to pass through the slots or holes into the surrounding sub soils. When everything is working as it should be, this process occurs without causing any pollution. If you'd like to know more about what a soakaway is, and how it works, we have produced a guide to soakaways which should tell you everything you need to know!
There are many things that can cause soakaway problems, and there are also many ways in which these problems can be brought to your attention! Unfortunately for the property owner suffering with the soakaway problems, these can be pretty unpleasant - think nasty niffs and pools of nasty stuff bubbling up in your garden. Let's take a look at the causes of the most common soakaway problems first....
Ok, so you're one of the unlucky property owners who has noticed that things are not quite right with their drainage system. There are a number of ways you might start to notice that you've got soakaway problems:
The big question is - can soakaway problems be fixed? And the answer is that it depends on a lot of different variables, including what's caused the problem in the first place, and how long the problems have been happening for. You see, the main problem with soakaway systems when they fail is that they typically can't be repaired or replaced in situ. This is because part of the failure is of the soakaway system is the clogging and pollution of the surround subsoils - this means that the soil often turns into an awful thick black sludge, which simply would not be suitable for a new soakaway to be installed into.
Let's use a couple of examples. If your favourite Aunty has been to stay, and she's flushed some wet wipes into the system without thinking, then some swift action might be the thing to save the day - an empty of the tank, and perhaps some jetting of the pipework to remove the blockage might be all that's needed to get things back to normal. However, if the septic tank itself has become damaged, and this damage has caused solid waste to pass into the soakaway system over a period of time, then it's really likely that the only `fix' here would be a replacement. As mentioned above, typically a soakaway system can't be replaced like for like in situ, so all different options would need to be considered - an alternative place to discharge to, or perhaps even replacing a septic tank with a sewage treatment plant. It's important that you get the right professional advice here - the UK Drainage Professionals team are on hand to find a resolution to any soakaway problems you might be having, and can manage everything for you from a septic tank inspection to a septic tank repair or replacement.
If you're having soakaway problems, and your particular problems can't be fixed, it's not all bad news. Did you know that most buildings insurance policies provide cover to repair or replace damaged septic tanks and soakaway systems? Ok, so if your system has failed because you've not had it emptied in ten years, your insurance policy isn't going to cover that. But if something has happened which could be considered `accidental damage', for example damage to the septic tank's dip pipe, or perhaps vehicle damage to the soakaway pipework, then there's a good chance that your policy would cover it.
The team at The UK Drainage Professionals is unique in that we are experienced in both soakaway systems and insurance claims management - so we can get to the bottom (if you'll excuse the pun) of any soakaway problems you're having and will be able to resolve things for you quickly and professionally.
First things first. contact our team today. You can use our eligibility checker to find out whether you might be covered by your buildings insurance, and our team will work to ensure you don't have to pay for repairs or replacements that you might already be covered for.
Sam's career prior to UKDP was spent in the marketing and service industries, so she is focused on making sure we look after our customers – and getting the UKDP message out there! Sam has overall responsibility for business operations and for delivering the best customer service we can.