Why do soakwells stop working?
A soakwell will typically stop functioning for two reasons, either it is full of material and has no volume to contain the water or a thin layer of material, such as mud or hydrocarbon buildup, is preventing the water from soaking out into the sand.
If the issue is a result of manmade contamination the controlled waste soakwell cleaning procedure will be required.
All About Soakwells sucks out and maintains soakwells to get them flowing again.
How do you clean a Soakwell?
For removing natural material we offer a cost effective alternative to utilising a vehicle registered for controlled waste, by having a vehicle dedicated to uncontrolled waste.
The vehicle has a top mounted boom with a high powered vacumn that swings around the radius of the truck. This requires access within 1.5m of the soakwell, no overhead restrictions and a width of 2.5m.
The operator sucks up the material while standing at the opening of the soakwell. Water may be required if the material is compact. In order to determine the depth of the soakwell (if unknown) the operator will carefully vacumn down one side until the base of the soakwell is exposed.
The diameter of the hose is 300mm. This means access is generally through a 550mm grate in the cover of the soakwell. If there is no grate access the only way to clean inside is to remove the cover (excavation required).
Soakwell maintenence considerations
- Are there any smells or slicks to indicate the soakwell is contaminated?
- Is the grate in the soakwell cover accessible, can it be opened or is it rusted?
- How will traffic be affected by the cleaning. Each soakwell can take an hour on average.
- How compact is the material, is the soakwell completely full or only a third?
- If the water is not draining away, could it be due to the water table in the area? Is the ground type suitable?
- Is the soakwell system adequete or is it being saturated? We can calculate the recommend volume and install additional soakwells as required.
This service is great for owners and property managers with drainage issues. Generally once cleaned a soakwell should be maintained every few years depending on the traffic around it.
If issues persist our experience means we can provide a permanent solution, for example by performing a volume calculation and interconnecting additional soakwells.
Tip! - Just a few hundred mm's of built up dust, mud or hydrocarbons can clog up a soakwell.
If the waste is natural and does not pose a health risk there are no requirements to analyse it and dispose of it according to the strict regulations that govern controlled waste.
The vacuum fitted to the truck sucks up all debris including water from the soakwells. Spoil disposal is charged by the m3 (including water) and must be strictly free from any kind of contamination.
If possible, it can be more cost effective to wait until water has subsided before commencing the cleaning.