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Soak Pit - Frequent Overflow: Chennai

I live in Chennai. The apartment has 4 flats(2 in ground floor, 2 in first floor; 4*4 members) with a single soak pit. This single soak pit is to collect the waste water from kitchen.  The existing soak pit is circular and is of 5 feet dia and 4 feet depth. We have a septic tank for collecting human waste.(which is not creating any problem)

Due to space constraint builder had constructed only one soak pit. I'm not sure whether the soak pit has been constructed as per the guidelines or not. But it has been getting filled frequently and requires pumping out every 10 days.

The soak pit is in a common area between my flat and my neighbour's flat. i.e 4 feet away from my flat entrance and 3 feet away from my neighbour's flat entrance door. The new soak pit is planned to be placed near the entrance of my flat.  Also the EB connections(meter boxes very near to ground level) are fitted on the wall at 6-7 feet away from my house entrance.

 My queries are as follows: 

1. Is it possible to increase the depth of the existing soak pit?  

2. Are there guidelines that govern the placement of soak pits?

3. What can be done to troubleshoot and fix the original soak pit?

Please advice,  





1. Dear Saravanan, It is a

Dear Saravanan,

It is a question of water in-water out. Whatever volume of watergoes into the soak pit must go out of it. One way is for it to soak into the ground. This is possible only if the soil below the pit is sandy and coarse grained. If it is like clay, obviously, it cannot soak. Then, the only thing is to get filled up. That is what is possibly happening here. Best is to pay for sewer lorry and get it pumped and taken away. The new soak pit may not solve the problem at all.

Dr. S. Sundaramoorthy
Technical Advisor (ex-Engineering Director of Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board)
Creative Environmental Consultants
Chennai, Madras

2. soak pit-frequent overflow-chennai

A mere pit cannot act absorb kitchen water if the soil at the bottom and/or sides is not permeable to water. The problem is also complicated by the fact that the kitchen water contains considerable nutrients. You talk about a second soak pit: If you are thinking that the water can be distributed between the two, it is unlikely to work. You can try placing a filter (say, even a perforated plastic waste paper basket and pass the kitchen water through it before it falls into the pit. This will retain the solid and suspended matter like curry leaves, chillies, vegetable pieces, onion pieces and the soak pit may be able to handle the filtered water.  The perforations in the basket will get clogged in a few days and you will have to clean it and replace it. To fix this, may be, you can try to fix it below the inlet pipe inside the pit.

You mention that sewage goes into the septic tank and the kitchen water into the soak pit. What about the bath water and clothes wash water? Where does it go? Into the septic tank>

Do you have any sparable soil space, say about 20 sq ft in any shape? If so, we can try an alternate method.You can contact me at 044-2834 3506

3. soak pit-frequent overflow-chennai

Dear Sarvanan,

Kitchen waste contains OIL/FAT/GREASE(OFG), which do not get contineously percolated by the soakpit walls. Soakpit has percolation limits, once OFG chokes up spores of the soak pit walls percolation stops. You require biological products to degrade OFG in the soakpit and from its wall spores. Once OFG is degraded soakpit will again be active and start absorbing kitchen waste.

This type of Bio products are available in India and will help in giving you permenant solution.

With Regards

Hiren Pancholi(09371061789)

4. Hi Hiren, Thanks for your

Hi Hiren,

Thanks for your response.

Could you tell me about the bioproducts please? i.e which bioproducts will help here.



5. Banana plants can check overflow

You can grow few banana plants near the soak pit - evapotranspiration from banana plants is very high so they will consume most of the water through roots. You will get greenery in addition to solving your problem of overflow.

Gyan Prakash Soni, M.E. (Water Use Management), I.I.T. Roorkee.

6. soak pit-frequent overflow-chennai

Dear Sarvanan,

Kitchen soakpit waste has anaerobic condition. For an anaerobic OFG degradation please visit site for product GREEZGARD, under biological head.

These is a patented culture from USA which is specially developed for harsh condition of Kitchen soakpit/Grease Trap. This product is very effective and many of the 5 star hotels and corporate houses are using this product for many years.


Hiren Pancholi


7. Is Greezgard available in India?

Dear Hiren Pancholi,

Thank you for the solution.

I would like to know if the GREEZGARD is available in India, if so where?

How frequently should this be used, my soak pit gets overflowed every 2 months.

Dr L Rajesh
+ 91 94425 13268

8. Greezgard distuributors in Chennai

Dear Dr.Rajesh,

Thanks for your interest in Greezgard. This product is specifically developed for breaking down Fat Oil and Grease (FOG) of the kitchen waste. This is a patented product from USA and break down FOG into its natural components of Carbon dioxide and water.

Again percolation activity in a soak pit stops because of excess oil. Initially you have to use the product for a week and as and when it is required later on. You can have a programme of dosing the product 2/3 times a week. It is required to be dosed at low flow condition.

I suppose you are from Chennai, we have distributor at chennai.

You can call me back for further details, my contact details are - +91 - 9371061789

Hiren Pancholi

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