Last Modified: February 28, 2024

Limestone Chippings for Soakaway

Crushed limestone gravel around residential soakaway drainpipes


This article provides an in-depth look at limestone chippings for soakaway systems, covering their key features and benefits. From efficient drainage to aesthetic appeal, these chippings offer a multifaceted solution for water management. This comprehensive guide provides the introductory information to help you to decide on your drainage and soakaway needs.

Limestone gravel close up. Jpg

Key Takeaways

  • Versatility: Limestone chippings are adaptable for various applications, from residential to commercial drainage systems.
  • Sustainability: Limestone chips for acid neutralisation tanks are eco-friendly and sourced from abundant, sustainable limestone deposits.
  • Affordability: Limestone chippings offer a cost-effective drainage solution, requiring minimal maintenance and upkeep.
  • Alkaline: Limestone neutralisation chips are ideal for neutralising acidic condensate from boilers and HVAC systems
Excavating a garden for a limestone soakaway drainage system

Exploring Limestone Chippings

Limestone chips are being used in numerous applications to help neutralise chemical-bearing wastes (e.g. acid wastes) in an environmentally friendly way. Both dove grey limestone gravel, and limestone chippings, come in various sizes for different applications; by understanding the features and benefits of limestone chippings for soakaway systems, you can make an informed decision that meets your specific drainage and landscaping needs.

The size of limestone chippings can vary from 2.5-7.5cm (1-3"), which impacts their effectiveness in soakaway systems. Larger sizes are generally better for drainage.

Practical Tip: Always measure the dimensions of your soakaway pit, and use a gravel calculator before purchasing your limestone chippings to get the correct quantity.

Soakaway drain supply drainage system cross section. Jpg

Benefits of Using a Lime Chippings Soakaway

Limestone chippings offer a dual advantage when used in soakaway systems and as condensate neutralisers. In soakaway applications, their porous nature allows for efficient drainage, effectively managing storm-water runoff and preventing water accumulation. This dual functionality solves drainage and waste management issues and contributes to environmental sustainability.

Efficient Drainage

Limestone chippings are highly porous, allowing for efficient water absorption and drainage, making them ideal for managing stormwater runoff and preventing water accumulation in various settings.


Limestone chippings are generally more affordable than other drainage solutions like concrete or metal grates. Their durability also means less frequent replacement, making them a cost-effective long-term solution.

Practical Tip: Calculate the total cost of installation and maintenance over a period to assess the cost-effectiveness of using limestone chippings.

Condensate soakaway with limestone

Need to work out the correct quantity of limestone chippings for your project needs? Try our free gravel calculator.


Limestone chippings are a versatile material with various applications. In soakaway systems, they can be used in residential, agricultural, and commercial properties. Their adaptability makes them a go-to solution for different drainage needs. Below are some of the most common uses:

Neutralise Chemical Bearing Wastes

Limestone chippings are effective in neutralising acidic condensate from boilers and HVAC systems. The calcium carbonate content in the chippings reacts with the acid, making the effluent safe for disposal. Once coated with precipitated products, the limestone is rendered useless and must be replaced. Other solids and organic materials suspended in the waste stream will often come out due to mechanical filtration, thereby contributing to the coating of the limestone chips.

Practical Tip: Regularly check the pH levels of the effluent to ensure that it remains capable of neutralisation.

Residential Drainage Systems

Limestone chippings are often used in residential soakaway systems to manage excess water from roofs, driveways, and gardens. Their porous nature allows for efficient water absorption, directing it away from structures and preventing flooding.

Practical Tip: For residential applications, consider using chippings between 20-40 mm (0.8-1.6 inches) in diameter and size for optimal water flow.

Large lime stone boulders. Jpg

Agricultural Fields

In agriculture, limestone chippings are used to improve drainage in waterlogged fields. They help break up acidic, compacted soil, allowing water to penetrate more deeply and promoting better crop root growth. Conducting a soil test to determine the drainage needs is always advisable before installing a soakaway system in an agricultural field.

Commercial Properties

Commercial properties like shopping centres and office complexes often use limestone chippings in their drainage systems to manage stormwater runoff to help prevent water accumulation in parking lots and walkways. 

Practical Tip: For commercial properties, it's advisable to consult with a civil engineer to design an efficient soakaway system.

Septic Tank Drainage

Limestone chippings are effective in the drainage field of a septic tank system. They help disperse the liquid waste evenly into the soil, aiding in the process of natural filtration.

Practical Tip: Ensure that the limestone chippings used for this purpose are free from impurities that could affect the septic system.

Drain system cross section diagram. Jpg


While glass chippings are low maintenance, some care is required to keep them looking their best. This section will guide you through the basic maintenance steps to ensure your glass chippings' longevity and aesthetic appeal.

Regularly inspect the area covered with glass chippings to ensure they are evenly spread and have not shifted due to external factors like wind or rain. Over time, glass chippings may accumulate dirt and debris. A simple rinse with water is usually sufficient to restore their original shine.

Condensate soakaway with chipped limestone. Jpg

Buying Limestone Soakaway

When buying limestone chippings for condensate soakaway, carefully review the packaging to ensure that the chippings meet your project's size and quality requirements, and choose a reputable manufacturer to ensure quality. Look for products with a guarantee, as they offer protection and assurance of suitability.

Before purchasing, confirm the stock availability, especially for larger projects. Quality assurance is key, so opt for guaranteed chippings to ensure they meet your soakaway requirements before adding them to your cart. Some suppliers offer limestone chippings by the pre-filled bag, which can be a convenient option. These filled bags can be directly buried or used in soakaway systems, saving time and effort during installation.

Limestone chippings for soakaway. Jpg


Limestone chippings for soakaway systems are an efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and eco-friendly solution for managing excess water and effluent. Their versatility extends from improving drainage and efficient drainage capabilities. With features like low maintenance and environmental friendliness, they offer a comprehensive solution for various outdoor applications.

1trench dug in a garden in preparation for soakaway drainage system


Can you use limestone for soakaway?

Yes, limestone chippings are an excellent choice for soakaway systems due to their porous nature and ability to improve drainage.

What are limestone chippings used for?

As covered in this guide, limestone chippings are versatile and can be used in various applications, from soakaway systems to landscaping tasks such as ground cover and in pathways and driveways.

Can condensate go to a soakaway?

Yes, limestone chippings can neutralise acidic condensate, making them suitable for condensate soakaway systems.

Can boiler condensate drain to ground?

It is not recommended to drain boiler condensate directly to the ground as it is acidic and can harm the environment.

Can you use limestone for soakaway?

As mentioned earlier, limestone chippings are ideal for soakaway systems due to their drainage capabilities.

There are many types of stone chippings products available for use in drainage systems. Find them here.

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.