Controlled Waste Soakwell Cleaning

Polluted Soakwell?

When a soakwell is contaminated, the spoil must be treated as a controlled waste. The process involves analysing the material and disposing of it based on it's type, according to regulations. Disposal is usually charged by the litre.

Removing contaminated waste from soakwells around Perth.

While we suck out and dispose of the material, you are responsible for determining the extent of your obligation as a property owner or tenant and the impact on the environment.

How is it done?

Typically the vehicle will have two operators and use an extendable hose. One operator will be at the vehicle controlling the machine and operator controlling the hose.

The hose is high powered and efficient compared to the non-controlled waste vehicle, as well as versatile when access is restricted at up to 120 metres long.

This vehicle has a hose that can be extended up to 120m.

The equipment is charged at an hourly rate including labour (two men) and the spoil disposal is charged by the litre. There is also a fee for the laboratory analysis of the material. It is important to note that any material that enters the tank will be treated as a controlled waste including water.

Soakwell maintenence considerations

  • Are there any smells or slicks to indicate the soakwell is contaminated?
  • Is the grate in the soakwell cover accessible, can it be opened or is it rusted?
  • How will traffic be affected by the cleaning. Each soakwell can take an hour on average.
  • How compact is the material, is the soakwell completely full or only a third?
  • If the water is not draining away, could it be due to the water table in the area? Is the ground type suitable?
  • Is the soakwell system adequete or is it being saturated? We can calculate the recommend volume and install additional soakwells as required.
This picture shows a contaminated soakwell.

  PLEASE NOTE: Quotes are an estimation based on the minimum hire, the number of soakwells to be cleaned, the type and volume of spoil to be removed and access requirements.

Removing contaminated waste from soakwells around Perth. This vehicle has a hose that can be extended up to 120m. This picture shows a contaminated soakwell.

Spoil Disposal Estimator (m3)

Spoil disposal for soakwells is charged by the cubic meter, (including water). The amount of spoil is an estimate only and may vary based on the depth of the soakwell.

To estimate the volume you need the diameter of the soakwell and the approximate height of the material to be removed.


Internal Diameter of Soakwell
Approx. Height of Spoil (mm)
Number of Soakwells


Spoil per Soakwell (m3)
Spoil Total (m3)
This highly capable vehicle is quick and efficient at cleaning soakwells. This previously contaminated soakwell has been cleaned. This soakwell was contaminated with oil prior to cleaning.

What is a contaminated Soakwell?

If there is any smell, oil, fat, paint or any kind of unnatural material in the soakwell it is contaminated. This is because the purpose of a soakwell is to return the water to its source, where it would have landed had it been bushland instead of being developed. A contaminated soakwell can leach pollution into the water table.

This highly capable vehicle is quick and effcient at cleaning soakwells.

Can you clean a contaminated Soakwell?

Maybe. Certain types of soakwell contamination such as oil and concrete slurry can penetrate deep below the soakwell, permanently preventing it from leeching water. In cases where a soakwell cannot be recovered, an additional complementary soakwell can be added.

Signs of contamination include

  • Oily Inside / Oilslick - eg. engine oil, fryer oil, industrial waste etc.
  • Smelly - eg. fats, foodwaste, engine oil, chemicals etc.
  • Unnatural Colour - eg. concrete slurry, paint, plastic fines etc.
This soakwell was contaminated with oil prior to cleaning.

If you have a soakwell issue we can either fix it or provide a solution. Please call or use our contact form to get started.



 Office: 08 6406 2112

Soakwell Cleaning Summary

Soakwells should generally be maintained every two years to avoid a build up of hydrocarbons contaminating the sand.

Depending on the reason for the cleaning, the waste may be considered either controlled or non-controlled. Controlled waste must be disposed of according to strict guidelines (additional charges apply).

Certain types of contamination can penetrate deep into the sand. This type of issue can require the removal of more material than normal. Clean sand must then be added to bring the level back up to the base of the soakwell.

In some cases of extreme contamination it may not be possible to bring the soakwell back to a functional capacity and an additional soakwell may be required.

In some situations soakwells may not be draining simply due to the water level in the area.