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Perhaps the most important component of the septic tank system is its soakaway, and it is often the “weakest link”. The soakaway system has to be capable of dealing with all the waste water produced by the household, which can often be in the region of 40 gallons per day per person. Such a soakaway would normally be one of three types: a porous chamber, a stonefilled pit or a layout of irrigation drains.

The principle of a septic tank soakaway is to disperse septic effluent (sewage without a high concentration of solids) into the sub soil at the site.

The size of the soakaway will be dependant on the following factors,

1/. The porosity of the sub soil material.

2/. The size of the property and the number of residence it is serving.

Common septic tank soakaways are constructed via long trench lines filled with a clean stone and have a slotted or holed distribution pipe. These trenches can be interconnected (a looped system), a simple long trench, a herring bone layout or a large filled pit.

Most soakaway will last a lifetime if the correct emptying and maintenance of the septic tank. However if you do not empty your tank on a regular basis the solids from your tank will be forced down your soakaway clogging the pipes and contaminating the soil making the soakaway no longer effective.

One this has happened the soakaway comes to the end of its life and a new soakaway must be installed. The main way to see if your soakaway pipes are blocked or contaminated is by the frequency your tank fills. If you find that your tank is filling fast especially after heavy rainfall and that the water is not dropping then its a good chance your soakaway is damaged. Contact our Devon based experienced team for advice and information.


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