What’s a Soak Hole and Why Do You Need One ASAP?

It’s too easy to put your waste water in the back of your mind and just forget about it. How often do you stop to consider how much water your place is actually wasting? In Auckland, this ranges from 174 liters per day to 179 liters per day, depending on the season. The majority of this water comes from your toilet, your shower or your washing machine. So what exactly happens to all this wasted water?

Often this water is sent to a primary treatment – this is basically the first stage in wastewater management where water is sent to places like septic tanks. Here solids are removed through the process of sedimentation or flotation, according to SSWM.

That’s just swimming, but where do soak holes come in?


Soak holes are a great alternative if you don’t want to reuse your wastewater but, you know, still want to lower your bills and take care of the environment. They take collected stormwater or greywater and safely discharge it to the environment. This also recharges your groundwater bodies. Essentially these little holes can make a big difference in your backyard and your monthly bill.

That definition not technical enough for you? Here’s how SSWM explains soak holes,

“As wastewater (greywater orblackwater after primary treatment) percolates through the soil from the soak pit, small particles are filtered out by the soil matrix and organics are digested by microorganisms. The wastewatereffluent is absorbed by soil particles and moves both horizontally and vertically through the soil pores. Sub-soil layers should therefore be water permeable in order to avoid fast saturation.”

What’s wrong with my septic tank?

Your septic tank probably does it’s job well. Unfortunately, it’s job is a bit outdated. The water in septic tanks is greywater, as it still has organic matters in it that need to be filtered out. Soak holes basically fill the role of a filter.

These pits are particularly useful in stormy season – or in Otago! They’re also useful in New Zealand’s most expensive cities such as Auckland or Wellington. If you’re looking for an Auckland drainage expert to install a soak hole, contact Fox Drainage.