How To Build A Soakaway In My Garden

What is a Soakaway?

A soakaway is a drainage system that allows excess rainfall to naturally drain away from your garden. Soakaways are commonly used in gardens that are prone to flooding. They are typically made up of a large hole in the ground, filled with rubble and gravel, and lined with a permeable membrane to keep out weeds and vermin.

How to Build a Soakaway in My Garden

Building a soakaway in your garden is a great way to ensure that excess water is properly drained away from your property, protecting it from potential flooding. Here are the steps you need to follow to build a soakaway in your garden:

1. Choose the right location

The first step to building a soakaway is to decide where it should be located. Ideally, it should be away from buildings and within an area of your garden that is prone to flooding. Consider your soil type when choosing a location, as clay and dense soils might not be ideal for your soakaway project.

2. Dig the hole

Once you have chosen the location for your soakaway, the next step is to dig the hole. Make sure the hole is large enough for your needs, as the soakaway should be able to hold large amounts of water. Also, ensure that the sides of the hole are even, as this will help to create an even soakaway system.

3. Line the hole with filter fabric

Once the hole has been dug, it should be lined with filter fabric. This will help to keep out any weeds and vermin that may otherwise enter the soakaway. Make sure the fabric is securely tucked into the sides of the hole to ensure a secure fit.

4. Fill the hole with gravel

The next step is to fill the hole with gravel. The gravel should be of a grade that is specifically suitable for soakaways. This is because the gravel needs to be able to hold water, while also draining it away quickly. Once the hole is filled with gravel, you can add a layer of soil on top.

5. Plant grass or ground cover

Finally, once the soakaway is complete, you can add grass or other ground cover to disguise it from view. Grass or ground cover will help to prevent any erosion from taking place. It will also help to keep the area neat and stylish.


Building a soakaway in your garden is a great way to ensure that excess rainfall is adequately drained away from your property, helping to prevent flooding. Follow the steps outlined above to ensure a secure and functional soakaway.