Do I Need To Replace My Soakwell? 4 Common Signs To Look For

Over time soakwells can become damaged or inadequate and will need replacing. With this in mind, we’ve put together a number of common signs that indicate your soakwell will need replacing.

Signs of a broken soakwell

1. Are areas of your yard sinking with no reason?

Close up of pavers sinking above a soakwell
Pavers are starting to sink as the sand underneath drops into the soakwell

One of the most common signs a soakwell is damaged or is inadequate for the amount of rainfall flowing into it is sink paving, grass, or soil. What happens is that the lid of the soakwell can break up or cave in resulting in the ground above collapsing and falling into the soakwell.

2. Is water overflowing from the downpipe fitting?

Metal downpipe going into a soak well

If your downpipes are connected directly to your soakwell pipes (such as in the photo above) and you see water backfilling and coming out of this fitting, that is a sign that your soakwell is too small or not functioning properly and is unable to handle the amount of rainwater entering it.

3. Do you have overflowing water from the stormwater grate?

Similar to the above, if you have overflowing water coming from your stormwater grate like in the video below, this is another sign that your soakwell is inadequate.

As long as you have an area around the grate for this water to soak into then it’s not much of an issue though ideally, you don’t want the water to backfill (especially in patio areas where there can be nowhere for the water to go).

An example of stormwater overflowing from the stormwater grate

4. Are you experiencing flash flooding in your yard?

If you have large areas of pooling water or you’re experiencing flash flooding in your backyard then this is another sign of inadequate or damaged soakwells. This could be caused by water filling up in the soakwell and flooding out via the top of the soakwell (if it’s cracked or dislodged) or backfilling and exiting from the stormwater drainage pipes.

I need to replace my soakwell…what’s next?

If you have any of these signs then the first step is to look at repairing your soakwell, then if it’s not easy to repair you will have to install a new one. Check out the links below for more information;

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