A couple of weeks ago, we found ourselves out in beautiful Derbyshire attending a soakaway or percolation test.

This test is something that’s carried out on land where building is planned, to test the
drainability of the soil allowing engineers to determine the amount and type of
drainage that will be required.

Of course there’s quite a science to it,
but to the layman, you dig a hole, part fill it with water and then at set
periods in time, measure the amount of water that soaked away, there’s a hint
in the title soakaway test.

As you might imagine, the speed of a
soakaway is greatly influenced by the underlying soil.  Sand or shale for example will have a
speedier rate of soak away than dense clay.

We met with our client’s engineer Matt and
a digger man who’d come down from Yorkshire who set about digging a series of
trenches in various parts of a large field.

Tardis Tanker Captain Kev, then came along
and part filled the holes with water one at a time whilst Matt set about conducting his
tests. In addition to the main test, he made notes on the type of soil that had
been excavated and took samples away in jars (we told you about the science

The digger man dug some more and we pumped
some more water into a new trench and more tests were carried out.

Whilst we’re not geological engineers, we
did notice that in this case, the soak away was rather slow suggesting the
ground had a lot of clay at the depth to which the digger man had dug which was
about six feet.

In addition to this, we were disappointed
we didn’t find a clay pot filled with gold coins. The digger man showed us a
coin he’d discovered on a dig some time back, the only thing of value he’s ever
turned up. It was a British coin about a hundred years old.

On this day, because of the number of
excavations, we provided ample water in one of our 16,000 litre rear wheel
steer water tankers, though for smaller site tests, we often send along a
bowser the size of which can be towed by Land Rover.

If you’re in the process of planning a
soakaway test on any scale, then give our knowledgeable team a call on 0800 731
. We can bring along up to 32,000 litres per load and that’s a lot of water
for a lot of soak away !

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