Soakaways have many benefits, they are cost-effective, easy to install, a practical means of improving drainage and preventing flooding, and they’re an invisible feature that won’t be an eyesore. However, you can’t just install one without carrying out the necessary tests beforehand. At Your Environment, we provide all the necessary soakaway tests to BRE365 standards.

In 1991, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) published its guidance on soakaway design. The BRE acts as a centre of building science and as a consultancy for every aspect of the built environment and associated industries.

To meet BRE standards, soakaways must be able to show that water stored within it drains quickly enough to provide the necessary run-off support for subsequent torrential rainfall. In accordance with these standards, soakaways should discharge from full to half-volume within 24 hours.

What is a Percolation Test?

Percolation tests determine whether the ground is suitable for a soakaway to be installed. The test itself shows the water absorption rate of the soil being examined, in other words, how quickly the water seeps through the soil.

How is BRE365 testing performed?

Testing to BRE365 standards involves the following:

  • First, a trial pit is excavated. This pit acts as a replica of the intended soakaway. These trial pits can be dug by hand but tend to be excavated by mini diggers. At Your Environment, we can provide all the equipment for excavation.
  • The pit is then filled with water repeatedly and in a short space of time. Whilst this is being done, the rate of percolation is measured.
  • These calculations can then be used to determine what size the soakaway will need to be to meet BRE standards.

Benefits of a utility survey from Your Environment 

You will receive a full set of calculations and the calculated infiltration rate. We’ll also provide you with detailed geotechnical logs which are required to meet the BRE365 standard. With Your Environment, you can expect:

  • Soakaway testing that conforms to BRE365 standard
  • We undertake soakaway testing for SuDS or micro drainage design
  • You will receive an easy-to-understand, jargon-free report
  • The report can be submitted to your Local Authority planners to discharge a condition