The Constructor

Soak Pit – Need and Functions



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A soak pit or a soakaway is a closed porous chamber that is directly connected to a primary treatment unit of residential or commercial building. It serves the function of letting the wastewater coming from the septic tank to slowly soak into the underlying ground.

The basic functions and the need for a soak pit in wastewater management are briefly explained in the article.

Need for Soak Pit

The water coming out from a primary treatment chamber is not pure. The primary treatment unit can be a septic tank, a biogas settler, anaerobic baffled reactor, twin-pits etc. The effluent water coming out of these units are called greywater, which must be subjected to a partial treatment before letting it into the ground soil. For this partial treatment, most of the wastewater management system needs a soak pit.

Also Read: Septic Tank - Features and Design

There is no intention to reuse the wastewater that is coming from the primary treatment unit. But the partial treatment of effluent water through a soak pit is a safer way of discharging the water into the environment.

Function of Soak Pit

The greywater passing through the soak pit is subjected to filtration. This results in the settlement of smaller particles of effluents at the bottom of the soak pit. These smaller particles are digested by the microorganisms which are a sustainable process of degradation. The filtered water is then discharged out through the porous wall of the soak pit.

Fig.1. Soak Pit

In general, the important functions of a soak pit are enlisted below:

  1. Soak pit serves the purpose of receiving the effluent water from the primary treatment unit.
  2. Soak pit undergoes the partial treatment of the effluent water coming out of the primary treatment unit.
  3. The soak pit discharges clear and non-harmful water to the ground.
  4. The soak pit is designed in such a way that the treated water comes out of the porous walls of the soak pit.
  5. The soak pit helps to recharge the groundwater bodies.
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