A catch pit (sometimes written catchpit) is an empty chamber, built into a drainage system.
As its name suggests, a catch pit chamber ‘catches’ silt and other debris that is carried (with water) along the drainage system. It plays a huge part in preventing the build-up of materials which could block the underground drainage system and, ultimately, result in localised flooding.
Catch pit chambers are not to be confused with soakaways. Although they are both found within the drainage system, they serve very different purposes.
A catchpit collects silt and debris before it even enters the drainage system and requires regular maintenance to ensure optimum functionality, whilst a soakaway collects surface water before it’s percolated back into the earth.
How does a Catch Pit Chamber work?
The way a catchpit chamber works is simple.
Drainage catchpits have an inlet and outlet pipe – set above the floor of the pit. The inlet pipe is raised while the outlet pipe is often lower.
As water flows, any silt and debris will fall to the bottom of the catchpit chamber (what’s known as a catch pit sump).
Water exits via the outlet pipe – and, to filter floating debris, can be fitted with a baffle.
Given that silt and debris accumulates at the bottom, you must ensure that it is kept clean. After all, a poorly maintained catchpit will fill up with sediment faster and allow material to enter the outlet pipe, resulting in blockages.
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