Introduction to the system

ACO SoakAway allows you to meet the requirements of the October 2008 changes to the Building Regulations while using a traditional block paving surface for a drive.

Changes to the Building Regulations in October 2008 removed the automatic Permitted Development Right under which any changes could be made to a front drive without requiring planning permission. Since then, a drive must either be finished with a permeable surface or provide an alternative means of dealing with surface water runoff, preventing it from flowing into public drainage systems. image

If neither of these options is chosen, planning permission is required: obtaining this will typically cost around £150 and takes up to 8 weeks. This is necessary for both new installations and repair or reinstatement of an existing drive.

ACO SoakAway provides a simple means of controlling surface water runoff, allowing it to seep slowly into the surrounding ground and permitting the continued use of traditional surfacing methods – block paving, asphalt, or concrete – whereas installing a permeable surface is a specialised job requiring the use of higher performance drainage aggregates and bedding materials.

ACO SoakAway is a system which consists of three component kits. The SoakAway Channel Kit contains 3m of ACO HexDrain Brickslot channel with a corner unit and sump, together with 5m of flexible drainage pipe. This pipe connects to the ACO SoakAway kit itself, which consists of a flat-pack self-assembly soakaway with a volume of ½m3 and includes fabric to wrap the tank and prevent its use being compromised by surrounding earth crumbling into the soakaway itself. The final element of the system is the optional ½m3 SoakAway Extension Kit, also a flat-pack self-assembly item which can be used to extend the base soakaway to a volume of 1m3.

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  • Discreet slot drain provides drainage capacity with unobtrusive visual impact
  • Fabric wrap to surround the soakaway tank
  • Quick and simple to assemble on site
  • Assembly and installation instructions included with each kit
  • Channel element CE marked and certified to Load Class A 15 BS EN 1433:2002


  • Provides compliance with current Building Regulations
  • Allows use of traditional surfacing materials and methods
  • Can be installed by a competent builder or expert DIY-er
  • Fit and forget design
  • Greater void ratio than a traditional rubble-filled soakaway
  • Complicated percolation tests not required

Recommended applications

  • Domestic use
  • SUDS
  • Landscaping
  • Private parking areas
  • Public parking areas (light traffic)
  • Residential developments

Not recommended applications

  • Distribution yards
  • Industrial estates
  • Heavy trafficked areas
  • Schools
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