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What is a soakwell? This is a concrete soakwell What is a concrete soakwell?
Concrete Soakwells Perth,
Western Australia
Concrete Soakwells Perth,
Western Australia
Concrete Soakwells Perth,
Western Australia

What is a soakwell?

Why do we need soakwells?

In Perth, Western Australia, soakwells are vitally important in maintaining the integrity of a buildings foundation. Rain water could easily sit and rest against cement or concrete foundations of structures which can lead to the sagging of a building and the quality deterioration of the foundation.

Within the stormwater industry there are different types of soakwells consisting of various materials. The two types of soakwells generally available are
  • Concrete soakwells

Soakwells for dwelling and houses

A soakwell is an underground tank which allows water to seep away without causing damage to surrouding areas. Typically, rain water from a dwelling roof or impermeable ground area travels via storm water piping to a soakwell or undergorund tank, gently seeping into the surrounding soil.

Soakwells are mostly connected to near downpipes leading from gutters on practically most outdoor habitations.

Typically soakwells are made of concrete, polypropylene, PVC or plastic and may be found with or without concrete pavers or lids which resist pressure from above.

A soakwell can range in size from 66 litres to a whopping 5000 litres!
Soakwells are typically 500mm to 300mm below ground with the bottom edges varying in depth between 500mm to 2.4m. Soakwells are essential even in excellent drainage areas as heavy rains often cause disturbance of paving and landscaping. Long term effects of water retention on your property include foundation damage and moisture problems.
If you have ever pointed a garden house at a patch of soil, you would see that erosion and landscaping damage can occur rather quickly. In the same way, if water during a storm rushes down the gutters of a building and continuosly pour out on soil, over time it may be difficult to rectify the soil erosion. Even if paving exists beneath gutters, the soil below the paving will soon begin to flow away, which leads to saggy paving.
What is a polypropylene soakwell? What are soakwells? We answer the questions
Before the construction of a new house In Perth, WA, the builder or homeowner should give special consideration to the stormwater runoff which will result from the roof and impermeable area of a new construction. Prior to construction on a brand new property, rainwater would have soaked into the ground and subsequently disperse. However, after construction, rainwater will land on surfaces such as a roof, paving or driveways and gather above ground, having nowhere to flow to. Any area, which is able to absorb water, will essentially be absorbing a significantly higher amount, leading to flooding, soil erosion and undermining of foundations.
A poly soakwell installation in action
The legislation in Perth, Western Australia states that all stormwater, which lands on a property, is to be retained on the same property. This essentially means that water from a property may not flow onto public, neighbouring or other properties.

There are a number of ways a Perth property owner can retain water on site.
The traditional, tried and tested method, which is most commonly used, would be soakwells. When installed by Perth Soakwells, we ensure that your rainfall will lead to a soakwell system which would then aid the dispersion of water from your property. The exact volume required or recommended differ between councils and shires which are responsible for various areas. The stormwater requirements will be determined by the size of the building, zoning of your property, residential density, council stormwater capacity, soil type and various other factors.


Noun | Soak-well | pron: \ s - oh - k - well \
Full Definition of Soakwell:
  • An underground tank, consisting of durable material, allowing water to dissipate into the surrounding soil, particularly stormwater

More on Soakwells

A soakwell, sometimes referred to as storm tanks, storm pits, drainage pits, soak holes and oddly enough, sock wells ;) , are underground tanks that are use to catch and disperse water, typically stormwater runoff via downpipes, gutters and surface drains.

Soakwells differ from rainwater tanks in that they they are not used to make use of rainwater for later use. Instead they are used to channel water from above ground to a location below ground where the stormwater will dissipate or disperse into the surrounding soil.

Reasons Why Soakwells Are Sometimes Missed in Constructed Dwellings:

Installation of Soakwells are often ignored due to a number of factors, among them being:
  • Lack of information by client who would otherwise have them installed if they had the relevant information.
  • Misinformation by builders and associates - Most, if not all, Shires in Perth, Western Australia, require a drainage solution to contain stormwater runoff.
  • Lack of enforceability - There is not authority which ensures the installation of soakwells have been adequately performed.
  • Budget - Some clients hold off on the installation of soakwells with the intent of installing them in the future.
  • Lack of planning 
  • Poor DIY Soakwells - Clients often attempt DIY soakwell installations, ultimately procrastinating or abandoning the task entirely.
  • The belief that soakwells are not necessary.
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