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Last edited 09 Apr 2016
BRE Digest 365 Soakaway design
BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.
BRE Digest 365 ‘Soakaway design’ was first published in 1991, when it replaced Digest 151. The latest edition, published on 24 February 2016 was written by Stephen L Garvin and replaces the previous 2007 edition.
According to the digest, ‘Soakaways are used to store the immediate surface water run-off from hard surfaced areas, such as roofs or car parks, and allow for efficient infiltration into the adjacent soil. They discharge their stored water sufficiently quickly to provide the necessary capacity to receive run-off from a subsequent storm.’
Traditionally they have been used as a way of disposing of surface water in areas remote from public sewers or watercourses. However, recently they have also been used in fully-sewered areas to limit the impact of new building works and to avoid the cost of upgrading sewers.
Digest 365 describes the processes for the design and construction of soakaways and explains how to calculate rainfall design values and soil infiltration rates. It also provides information about maintenance, inspection and monitoring, provides design examples and lists sources of further information.
The 2016 edition includes:
- Recommendations by the Environment Agency for predicted climate change effects.
- Data on a return period of 100 years.
- A description of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS).
- Information about flood management.
- Updated illustrations and new references
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Building Research Establishment BRE.
- Catchment flood management plans.
- Flood and Water Management Act.
- Flood insurance.
- Flood risk management plan.
- Flood risk.
- Future Water, The Government’s water strategy for England.
- Groundwater control in urban areas.
- Pitt Review.
- Planning for floods.
- Rainwater harvesting.
- River engineering.
- SuDS infographic.
- Sustainable urban drainage systems SUDS.
- The SuDS Manual.
- Water Act 2014.
- Water consumption.
- Water engineering.
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