New soakwell

31 05 2017

When our house was built, there was a ‘secret gutter’ in the roof, which caused no end of problems because the builders didn’t put in a downpipe to redirect the flow off the roof to a soakwell. Instead, the water gushed into the end of a normal gutter and had to find its way to the other end before going down a downpipe. It was a real problem when we had heavy rains, because the water would spill over the end of the gutter and fascia board and get under the eaves, thus causing mould on the eaves and a very wet fascia board. The mould was how we knew there was a real problem with the roof design. And I learned there was a such a thing as a ‘secret gutter’!

Our wonderful handyman was able to identify the issue a few years ago, and he and his roof plumber mate fixed the secret gutter flashing and added a downpipe so the water had somewhere to go. However, water from the downpipe just spilled onto the concrete, not into a soakwell. This caused some further issues, with water pooling on the concrete and algae forming over time (in the scheme of things, these were just minor issues). I added a spoon drain at the end of the downpipe as as a temporary measure to redirect the flow further out onto the concrete pad, but I knew at some point we’d have to get the water redirected into a soakwell.

Twelve months ago, my handyman cut open the concrete pad and installed a drain into the garden for another issue (a small dip in the concrete pad where water accumulated), so I asked if he could do something similar at the end of the downpipe, and install a soakwell. Yep, anything is possible for this guy (he’s an absolute keeper!).

He and his helper spent half a day cutting into concrete, digging a graveyard-size hole in the lawn (fortunately missing the retic pipes!), digging a trench under the concrete, installing a drain pipe and drain cover, and installing a ‘open weave’ heavy-duty plastic soakwell (after wrapping it in several layers of geotextile fabric). They then packed the dirt back in, put the lawn back, and went on their way.

It works a treat! The water from the downpipe now goes into the drain and into the soakwell, so no more trip hazards with spoon drains and algae!




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