Why do I need BRE365 Testing?

by | May 11, 2023

Especially with the UK’s unpredictable weather patterns, it’s important to ensure your home has a reliable drainage system. At Borehole Solutions, we are huge advocates of BRE365 soakaways. After all, we bang on about their benefits all the time; they’re cost-effective, easily installable and incredibly durable. This doesn’t mean you can just go out and get one installed in your garden, however. All the necessary tests must be carried out beforehand, with percolation testing being one of the most vital. Today, we want to focus on one testing standard in particular – BRE Digest 365.

What is the Percolation Test?

Percolation tests determine the rate in which water is absorbed into the ground. This is the final of the three mandatory tests required to determine whether soakaways are suitable to be installed. The Groundwater Source Protection Zone (SPZ) search and Trial Site Assessment Hole (TSAH) tests must be undertaken first.

BRE Digest 365 Test

The BRE Digest 365 is one of the most common design guidance reports issued by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). First published in 1991, BRE has since become the industry standard methodology for soakaway design and guidance across the UK. However, it also shares information on how to calculate percolation rates. If you’re interested in learning more about how to do that calculation, click here!

To meet BRE’s standards, soakaways must drain quickly enough to be able to provide run-off support for subsequent torrential rainfall. In most circumstances, they should be able to drain from full to half-volume in less than 24 hours.

How is BRE365 Testing Carried Out?

The first step in carrying out a BRE365 test involves the excavation of a trial pit. These pits are typically dug between 1m and 4m in depth, and act as a replica of a soakaway. The trial pit is then repeatedly filled with water. As this is being carried out, the rate of percolation is measured using the calculations outlined by BRE Digest 365. This helps to determine the necessary size of the soakaway that will be installed.

Once the criteria outlined by the BRE365 test has been met, a soakaway is then able to be installed. Assuming it has been installed correctly, your soakaway can remain for as long as a century with minimal maintenance. However, it’s always worth giving them a quick check-up every once and a while to ensure everything is still running efficiently. The last thing you want is for leaves, silt and other waste to clog the system and render it inefficient.

Contact Borehole Solutions

If you’re intrigued about the prospect of installing a soakaway for yourself, or would like some more information, reach out! At Borehole Solutions, we offer exhaustive BRE365 and percolation testing, soakaway installation, as well as several other geotechnical testing services. To speak to our expert team, contact us today on 01733 200501 or send an email to info@boreholesolutions.com.