How To Do Perc Test For Septic Tank? (Solved)

  1. Step 1: Dig the hole. Mark out a test hole that is 300mm x 300mm wide and at least 300mm deep below the proposed invert level of the outlet pipe.
  2. Step 2: Saturate the soil. Clear the hole of any loose debris (including stones or lumps of soil).
  3. Step 3: Determine the percolation rate.
  4. Step 4: Repeat the test.

How is a perk test performed?

A perc test is conducted by drilling or digging a hole in the ground, pouring water into the hole and then observing the rate at which the water is absorbed into the soil. Most of the world’s septic systems are designed in a way that requires a septic drain field or “leach field” to drain away any excess water.

How deep should a perc test hole be?

Test procedure. A typical perc test consists of two or more holes dug about 30 to 40 feet apart in the proposed drain field area (see illustration). The holes are typically 6 to 12 inches in diameter and 2 to 3 feet deep, the typical depth of the absorption trenches in a leach field.

What happens if my land doesn’t perk?

NO PERC, NO HOUSE On rural sites without municipal sewage systems, a failed perc test means that no house can be built – which is why you should make any offer to purchase land contingent on the site passing the soil and perc tests.

What kind of soil is best for a septic system?

Soil Permeability Sandy soils feel gritty and can allow air and water to move rapidly through the soil. Clay soils are sticky and very dense, restricting the movement of air and water. The soils best suited for wastewater treatment are mixtures of sand, silt, and clays referred to as loamy soils.

Can you do your own perk test?

If you’re planning to install a new septic system, local ordinances will require you to conduct a soil percolation test. In some jurisdictions, you can do the test yourself, but in others, including some parts of California, you need a qualified professional to do it.

What is a good perc test result?

A good perc rate for a septic system is between 1 and 30 minutes per inch. Between 30 and 60 minutes per inch might require hydraulic analysis for installing a septic system. Anything under 1 minute per inch or over 60 minutes per inch is not an ideal perc rate.

How long are perc tests good for?

How long is a perc test good for? An Improvement Permit/Construction Authorization issued by a Local Health Department is valid for 5 years.

How do you dig a perc test hole?

Dig the perc test hole downhill from the house site if possible. Stay away from swales and drainage ways, and areas that are seasonally wet. Keep 100 feet away from all wells and surface water, including irrigation ditches. Septic systems cannot be located on slopes in excess of 45% (24 degrees).

What is a good percolation rate for soil?

For soils to effectively treat effluent, percolation rates must be between 10 and 60 minutes per inch of percolation. You need at least 20 to 21 hours to do a standard percolation test requires. This creates a worst-case scenario in the soil.

Can you do a perk test in the winter?

For the best results, you should perform a perc test in the driest season. During this time, the water table will be at its lowest point, and the dry soil will more readily absorb liquid. However, if the soil is frozen or has recently absorbed a lot of rain or melted snow, the percolation results will be lower.

What can I use instead of a septic tank?

Alternative Septic Systems

  • Raised Bed (Mound) Septic Tank Systems. A raised bed drain field (sometimes called a mound) is just like what it sounds.
  • Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATS) Aerobic systems are basically a small scale sewage treatment system.
  • Waterless Systems.

How do you make land PERC?

How to do a home soil percolation test:

  1. Dig a 6″-12″ deep hole in your future greywater infiltration zone.
  2. Place a ruler (or stick marked in inches) in the bottom of the hole.
  3. Fill the hole with water several times to saturate the soil.
  4. Note the time.

How do you get land to perk?

In most jurisdictions, a perc test is performed when an official from the county health department meets with the owner of the property and/or a licensed excavator to dig a hole and test the drainage rate of the soil on-site (they literally pour water in a hole and time how long it takes to drain through).

Perc Testing and Soil Testing – What You Need to Know

This Article Discusses If you don’t have a perc, you don’t have a house. Test with a Deep Hole Testing with Percs SetbacksClearances Alternatives in the Event of a Site Failure View and post commentsQuestions Septic System Frequently Asked Questions SEPTIC SYSTEM articles can be found here. Traditional septic systems can only function well if the soil in the leach field region is sufficiently porous to allow the liquid effluent flowing into it to be readily absorbed by the soil. A failure to do so will result in untreated wastewater backing up and pooling on the surface.

It is in this soil layer that the majority of the treatment takes place.

This happens less frequently.

Depending on the municipality, particular criteria may differ, however any of these qualities may exclude the installation of a basic gravity-fed septic system.

A percolation test (often referred to as a “perc test” or “perk test”) is necessary to assess if a construction site is appropriate for a septic system installation.

NO PERC, NO HOUSE

In this article, you will learn how to With no PERC, there is no house. No PERC, no house. Test with a Deep Hoe Examining Percs SetbacksClearances If the Site Fails, You Have a Couple of Options Questions and comments are welcome. Frequently Asked Questions about Septic Systems. View all articles related to SEPTIC SYSTEM. It is only if the soil in the leach field region is sufficiently porous that it can quickly absorb the liquid effluent flowing into it that traditional septic systems will function well.

The bottom of the perforated leach pipes must be covered with at least a few feet of excellent soil before they can be exposed to the rock or impermeable hardpan below, or before they can be exposed to the groundwater table.

A site can also fail because the soil is excessively porous, enabling the effluent to reach the groundwater before it has had a chance to be thoroughly treated.

The use of a typical leach field is likewise not recommended on extremely steep slopes, as previously stated.

It may be possible to install a more expensive alternative septic system in some circumstances. Percolation testing (also known as a “perc test” or “perk test”) is necessary to assess if a building site is appropriate for a septic system.

DEEP HOLE TEST

The majority of studies begin with a deep hole test that is excavated by machine to a depth that is considerably below the bottom of the planned leach field – often 7 to 10 feet deep or more. High water tables, as well as the presence of rock ledges or impermeable soil that will prevent water from being absorbed, are sought for by the testers. In certain regions, testers are also looking for drainage features in the soil. It may not be necessary to carry soil samples back to the lab; instead, visual observations of the soil strata may be adequate.

  • It requires a trained eye to spot soil mottling, which is a sign of a seasonal high water table – at a depth of about 2 feet here, the water table is around 2 feet deep.
  • Actual observations are utilized to determine the “limiting zone,” which is the area of soil where the soil is unsuitable for sewage treatment.
  • The existence of a seasonal high water table may be visually determined by checking for “mottling,” which are splotches or streaks of color in the soil that indicate the presence of water on occasion.
  • For situations when the limiting zone is too close to the surface to be accommodated by a normal leach field, a mound or other alternate septic system may be necessary.
  • However, while the vast majority of soil specialists think that soil observation may offer sufficient information for the design of a functional septic system, most states now mandate perc testing to directly quantify the rate at which water percolates through the soil (perc testing).
  • The results indicate whether or not a septic system can be implemented in a given community, and the results are used by system designers to calculate the size of the leach field.

SEASONAL HIGH WATER TABLE

Under specific situations, certain towns may additionally require direct testing of the seasonal high water table to be performed. For example, this may be necessary for some types of alternative energy systems or in places where the water table is known to be high. The most common method is to dig tiny monitoring wells, which are also known as piezometers. The monitoring wells are simply plastic pipes that are screwed into holes that have been dug into the earth.

Water is monitored in the pipes during the wettest time of the year, which is between June and September. It is necessary to have appropriate clearance between the bottom of the drain field trenches and groundwater in order for a system to be certified by the city.

PERC TESTING

To conduct a perc test, first consult with a representative from the local health department. Requirements can differ significantly from town to town in terms of who can conduct the test, the minimum number of holes, the depth of the holes, the required absorption rates, and the time period during which the tests can be conducted. In general, tests cannot be performed in frozen or disturbed soil, and some regions only allow tests to be performed during specific months of the year – so prepare ahead of time.

  • If the test fails, you may be forced to invest in a more expensive alternative technology, or the site may be deemed unusable.
  • A typical perc test consists of two or more holes drilled around 30 to 40 feet apart in the planned drain field region, with the holes being approximately 30 to 40 feet apart (see illustration).
  • After that, either you or the technician should fill the bottom of the hole with 2 inches of clean gravel.
  • Remove any loose soil from the bottom of the hole with a sharp tool as well.
  • Continue to add water until there is approximately 12 inches of water in the hole for at least 4 hours.
  • The next day, carefully wipe away any loose dirt that has fallen to the bottom of the holes and gently fill each hole with water to a depth of 6 inches over the level of the gravel in each hole.
  • The timings are then meticulously recorded and used to compute the percolation rate, which is the amount of time it takes for one inch of water to descend into the ground.
  • When using a normal gravity-flow septic system, a 60-minutes per inch (MPI) rate is commonly used as the cutoff point, indicating that the water dropped one inch in 60 minutes.
  • Some municipalities demand extra “hydraulic” soil testing for locations that test higher than 30 minutes per inch in some instances.
  • Water absorbs too quickly below that level to be efficiently treated before it reaches the groundwater table.

The hole with the weakest performance is the one that matters. The presence of a town official to witness the test is required in certain communities. Perc test regulations differ significantly from one municipality to the next. The following are some general ranges for soil permeability:

  • Lower than 5 MPI: Extremely porous soil. Alternative systems, such as pre-treatment of effluent, pressured dosing, or the addition of denser soil surrounding trenches, may be permitted. A conventional leach field with a flow rate of 5 to 60 MPI is authorized. 60 – 120 MPI: Soil with a low water-holding capacity. Alternative systems, such as pre-treatment of effluent, pressurized dosing, improved treatment, mound systems, and other alternative systems, may be permitted. When the MPI is more than 120, the soil is said to be very low-permeable. It may be possible to use alternative technologies that provide improved wastewater treatment under certain situations.

In most circumstances, test findings are valid for two to five years, and in some cases they can be extended. However, like with all things perc, rules vary significantly from town to town, so don’t make any assumptions about what to expect. Always check with the local health department before embarking on a project.

OTHER SITE CONDITIONS

Septic system rules vary greatly from municipality to municipality, although the majority of municipalities demand that the leach field satisfy specified specifications in addition to passing the perc test. Some of the most typical stumbling blocks are as follows:

  • Slope with a lot of incline. Typically, the maximum permitted slope for a conventional system varies between 20 and 30 percent
  • Filled land Most of the time, native soils are necessary, while manufactured fill may be acceptable in rare instances. Wetlands and floodplains are two terms that are used to describe the same thing. This is not suitable for the leach field. Site drainage is important. During rain storms, the leach field should not be in the path of runoff, which might result in system erosion or flooding.
See also:  How To Find The Location Of My Septic Tank With The County? (Best solution)

SETBACKSCLEARANCES

It is necessary to maintain a minimum distance between the septic tank and leach field and any structures, property lines, water pipelines, wells, or bodies of open water. In the case of tiny locations, a variance may be necessary in order to provide adequate space. It is possible that you will be required to find adequate area for both the current leach field and a replacement field, which will be used in 20 or 30 years after the original field has been depleted of its capacity. The number of clearances varies from one town to the next.

SEPTIC SYSTEM MIN. CLEARANCES (typ.)
Distance to Septic Tank Leach Field
House 10 ft. 10-20 ft.
Property line 10 ft. 10 ft.
Private well 50 ft. 50-100 ft.
Potable water piping 10-25 ft. 25 ft.
Open water(stream,pond, wetland, etc.) 50-100 ft. 100 ft.
Dry gulch/stream bed 10 ft. 25 ft.
Subsoil drains 10 ft. 25 ft.
Note:Always check with local codes

OPTIONS IF SITE FAILS

Even if your site fails a perc or deep-hole test, it is not always doomed to failure. It may be possible to “de-water” the drain-field area on sites with high water tables by strategically constructing gravel-filled trenches and subsurface drain pipes to divert water away from the drain-field region. To complete this project, you’ll need the services of a highly skilled earthwork contractor, as well as the assistance of a civil engineer or geotechnical engineer. Additionally, in recent years, a diverse range of alternative septic systems have been created for use on a variety of different types of sites.

  1. In general, these systems are more expensive, and many of them require additional components such as pumps, alarms, and other devices that necessitate more monitoring and maintenance than a normal sewage system.
  2. Building lots that were formerly considered unbuildable may become authorized building lots when alternative solutions become more prevalent and broadly recognized.
  3. Look for a contractor that has previous expertise installing the precise system you are considering as a second option.
  4. A clogged septic system is not a pleasant sight or scent to see.
  5. In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?
  6. Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?

How Much Slope Do You Need for a Septic Line? Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test? Should I use a Sand Filter with my existing septic system? Examining the condition of the wellSEPTIC SYSTEMView all articles

How to do a soil percolation test

Greywater soaks into the ground in a well-functioning greywater system, rather than pooling or pouring off the surface. Clayey soils, on the other hand, drain extremely slowly, whereas sandy or gravelly soils drain swiftly. A home percolation test is a straightforward method of determining how rapidly your soil drains and how much space you need to incorporate greywater into your soil. A professional percolation test, which is required for septic leach fields, is prohibitively expensive and superfluous for a modest graywater system.

The depth of discharge should be tested for greywater percolation; ideally, the depth of discharge should be less than one foot.

How to do a home soil percolation test:

Step 1. Dig a 6′′-12′′ deep hole in the ground near where your future greywater infiltration zone will be. Step 2.In the bottom of the hole, insert a ruler (or a stick with inches written on it). The measurement gadget should be able to fit through the opening to the top. Step 3: Fill the hole with water many times to ensure that the dirt is completely saturated. Clayey soils may need many hours or even overnight drying. Step 4: Make a note of the time. Water should be poured into the hole. When the hole is completely drained, record the time and use it to determine the amount of time it will take to completely drain the hole.

Step 6.Use the table below to determine your percolation rate.

Soil Percolation Chart

Infiltration Rate(min/inch) Area Needed (sq.ft/gal/day) Example: Afterfilling the hole four times, the water level dropped 6 inches in 75 minutes. 75 divided by 6 is about 13 minutes/ inch. Example: Now we multiply our greywater flow (14 gallons per day) by the area needed (0.4). 14 X 0.4= 5.6, so we need about 6 square feet of ground to absorb our daily greywater flow.
0-30 0.4 13 min/inch is between 0 and 30, so we use this line. We need6 sq. feet for 14 gallons/day
40-45 0.7
46-60 1.0 If we were in this line we’d need 1.0 X 14 or14 sq. feet.
61-120 2

The material in this section comes from Chapter 16 of the California Plumbing Code. Rather of calculating percolation rate, the California greywater regulation demands that you compute infiltration area depending on the soil type. However, we believe that performing a percolation test is more reliable than relying on soil type, but both methods provide valuable information. If you followed their chart and assuming you had veryclayey soil, you’d need 1.1 square feet of greywater per gallon of water each day, according to their calculations.

Type of soil Sq. ft/ 100 gal/day GallonsMax. absorption/sq. ft/ 24 hrs
Coarse sand or gravel 20 5.0
Fine sand 25 4.0
Sandy loam 40 2.5
Sandy clay 60 1.7
Clay with considerable sand or gravel 90 1.1
Clay with small amount of sand or gravel 120 0.8

As an example, if you generated 14 gallons per day, you would want 15.4 square feet (rounded up to 16 square feet) of infiltration space. If you have four trees, you’ll need an area of 16/4, or four square feet per tree, to accommodate them. Most mulch basins have a dumping area of around 12 square feet, so there is plenty of space.

All About the Percolation Test Required for a New Septic Tank

Septic systems enable you to construct a house or business on even the most distant of lands that are not already served by a sewer system. A septic tank’s suitability for a particular property, on the other hand, requires more than simply the owner’s willingness to spend the money to install one. Prior to granting approval for a permit for the installation of the system, your county will need that you do a percolation test, which is also known as a perc test. Learn everything you can about this test before it is conducted so that you are well prepared for the procedure.

  1. A percolation test determines how well the earth drains in a specific area of a building’s foundation.
  2. It may be necessary to conduct a number of percolation tests before determining the best site for a septic tank.
  3. What is the procedure for testing percolation?
  4. It is necessary to dig a hole of specific depth and fill it with water before measuring how long it takes for the water to completely drain into the surrounding soil in each test.
  5. The soil’s water absorption rate will not be reliably measured if the holes are too small.
  6. Contractors often dig at least two pits at opposing ends of the intended drainage system to ensure that the entire region drains at an appropriate rate during the project.
  7. The majority of percolation tests are performed prior to the construction of a new septic tank.

In certain situations, relocating a system necessitates the performance of a percolation test as well, as the new location may have different soil drainage characteristics.

If you want to save money and learn more about your property’s drainage system before paying for any expert maintenance, you may dig your own percolation test pit.

If you decide to dig your own pit, make sure to slope all of the sides to both prevent the surrounding earth from collapsing and to allow you to escape if you do fall into the pit.

It is safer to slope all four sides of the task while doing it by hand with a shovel rather than using a machine.

If you fail a percolation test, you will be unable to construct a typical septic tank in the region where the test was conducted.

We at Walters Environmental Services invite you to schedule a professional percolation test with us now to determine whether your site is suitable for the installation of a septic system.

Perc Testing and What to Do If The Site Fails

It is only if the soil in the leach area is sufficiently porous that it can quickly absorb the liquid effluent flowing into it that traditional septic systems will function properly. There must also be at least a few feet of decent soil between the bottom of the leach pipes and the rock or impermeable hardpan below, or between the bottom of the leach pipes and the water table. A site can also fail because the soil is excessively porous, enabling the effluent to reach the groundwater before it has had a chance to be thoroughly treated.

Slopes that are too steep for a typical leach field are likewise inappropriate for them.

In rare instances, an alternate septic system that is more expensive may be permitted.

NO PERC, NO HOUSE

A failed perc test on a rural site without municipal sewage services implies that no home may be built, which is why you should make any offer to acquire property contingent on the site passing both the soil and the perc tests before proceeding with the purchase. Percolation or perc tests are becoming increasingly popular in rural areas as prime building sites become increasingly uncommon (or prohibitively costly) in many sections of the country. Rural sites that do not pass the percolation or perc test are becoming increasingly common.

Soils are often classified as either coarse sand and gravel particles or microscopic silt particles, with minuscule clay particles — the tiniest – making up the majority of their composition.

The other major test is visual examination of the soil in a test pit, which is also known as a deep hole test.

Check with your town’s health officer to find out what tests are required, when they may be performed, and who should be responsible for doing them.

DEEP HOLE TEST

The majority of studies begin with a deep hole test that is excavated by machine to a depth that is considerably below the bottom of the planned leach field – often 7 to 10 feet deep or more. It may not be necessary to carry soil samples back to the lab; instead, visual observations of the soil strata may be adequate. In order to determine the drainage properties of the soil, the presence of a seasonal high water table, and the depth of the “limiting zone,” which is the area where the soil is unsuitable for sewage treatment, soil tests or observations are conducted.

The higher layer of the water table, as well as impermeable rock or soil, form the limiting zone of a body of water.

Typically, the water table or impermeable soil in the leach field must be at least 3 feet below the bottom of the trenches in order for the leach field to be effective.

The speed at which water drains into a standard-sized hole in the ground is measured by this test. The results indicate whether or not a septic system can be implemented in a given community, and the results are used by system designers to calculate the size of the leach field.

PERC TESTING

To conduct a perc test, first consult with a representative from the local health department. Requirements can differ significantly from town to town in terms of who can conduct the test, the minimum number of holes, the depth of the holes, the required absorption rates, and the time period during which the tests can be conducted. In general, tests cannot be performed in frozen or disturbed soil, and some regions only allow tests to be performed during specific months of the year – so prepare ahead of time.

However, like with all things perc, rules vary significantly from town to town, so don’t make any assumptions about what to expect.

OTHER SITE CONDITIONS

Septic system rules vary greatly from municipality to municipality, although the majority of municipalities demand that the leach field satisfy specified specifications in addition to passing the perc test. Some of the most typical stumbling blocks are as follows:

  • Slope with a lot of incline. Typically, the maximum permitted slope for a conventional system varies between 20 and 30 percent
  • Filled land Most of the time, native soils are necessary, while manufactured fill may be acceptable in rare instances. Wetlands and floodplains are two terms that are used to describe the same thing. This is not suitable for the leach field. Site drainage is important. During rain storms, the leach field should not be in the path of runoff, which might result in system erosion or flooding.
See also:  How To Find Septic Tank Valve?

SETBACKSCLEARANCES

It is necessary to maintain a minimum distance between the septic tank and leach field and any structures, property lines, water pipelines, wells, or bodies of open water. In the case of tiny locations, a variance may be necessary in order to provide adequate space. It is possible that you will be required to find adequate area for both the current leach field and a replacement field, which will be used in 20 or 30 years after the original field has been depleted of its capacity. Clearances differ from one municipality to the next, so always verify with local codes.

OPTIONS IF SITE FAILS

Even if your site fails a perc or deep-hole test, it is not always doomed to failure. It may be possible to “de-water” the leaching region on locations with high water tables by strategically constructing gravel-filled trenches and subsurface drain pipe to direct water away from the leaching area. To complete this project, you’ll need the services of a highly skilled earthwork contractor, as well as the assistance of a civil engineer or geotechnical engineer. A broad variety of alternative septic systems have also been created in recent years for usage on a wide variety of different types of land.

In general, these systems are more expensive, and many of them require additional components such as pumps, alarms, and other devices that necessitate more monitoring and maintenance than a normal septic system.

When it comes to modern building technology, though, it’s important to seek for items and systems that have a proven track record on the job. Morse Engineering and Construction can be contacted for additional information. Source:buildingadvisor.com

What Is A Perc Test? 14 Things You Should Know in 2022

When conducting due diligence before to purchasing a property, a perc test is an essential part of the procedure that must be completed (also known as a percolation test). The soil’s water absorption rate is determined by doing a perc test (or the percolation rate). Understanding whether or not an aseptic system can be implemented is critical to the process. In brief, if a piece of land is located in a rural area and a municipal sewer system is not accessible, a septic system can assist in making the site “livable.” A perc test is required for anybody purchasing land with the intention of constructing a home or living on it.

1. A perc test tests the rate at which water drains through the soil

It is necessary to do a perc test by first drilling or excavating a hole (or numerous holes) in the ground, then pouring water into the hole and watching to see how quickly the water percolates through the soil. This test is generally carried out by a licensed excavator or engineer, but it is closely monitored by your local health agency to ensure its accuracy. Depending on the type of soil on your land, it may or may not be able to pass this test with relative ease. In the sixth section, we’ll go through the soil criteria that will offer your property the best chance of passing the test.

2. A perc test is only necessary if a property doesn’t have access to a municipal sewer system

A perc test, which allows you to install a septic system on your land if your property does not already have access to a municipal sewage system, is only required if your property does not already have access to one. Keep this in mind while conducting your due diligence since it may obviate the necessity for a perc test entirely. You’ll want to check to see if the unoccupied site is within walking distance of a sewage line that’s already in place. If this is the case, there is no need for a septic system to be installed.

The results of the perc test will be required by the majority of county health authorities in order to decide whether or not the property is fit for the system.

If you want to avoid having to perform a perc test completely, seek for properties that already have sewage hookups while you’re looking for land to purchase.

3. Be sure to check with the county’s health department

To get the phone number of your county’s health department, all you have to do is Google the name of your county and “health department” to obtain their contact information. You’ll want to contact the health department ahead of time to verify that you understand the procedure and requirements and that there are no bumps along the way. Also keep in mind that, regardless of what you learn on the internet, each county has its own set of criteria that might differ from one location to the next.

Make careful you follow the instructions of your local health agency. You will almost always require a health department official to be present for your perc test, so make sure to arrange for this before the excavator comes out to do the job.

4. A failed perc test will complicate your plans to build

Okay, so you already know that a perc test is required in order to establish a septic system, and you also know that most landowners will not install a septic system if a municipal sewage system is available as an alternative. However, what happens if you fail the perc test and are unable to have a septic system installed? Several landowners are confronted with this issue. When looking for property, it is important to remember that if it does not pass the soil and perc tests needed by county health authorities, it will be impossible to construct a home on it.

Even while it may be tempting to acquire the land anyhow and attempt to make anything work, it is necessary to consider the worst-case situation before proceeding.

5. Don’t panic if your land fails a perc test

You make the decision to acquire land that has failed a perc test. You are aware that this indicates that it is not constructible. What are you going to do? Do you intend to put it on the market? Do you just let it go to waste? Is it too late to save the situation? What are you going to do? Don’t panic is the first step to taking action. Just though your property failed a perc test does not rule out the possibility of constructing something on it. If you’re ready to spend additional money on an engineered system or a raised sand bed to assist fix the drainage issue, you may be able to get around this problem.

  • If your perc test fails, here are some alternate paths you might try.
  • Other perc tests may have been performed previously, so check with the health department.
  • While you may have had a perc test performed in one section of the property, it is possible that a former owner performed one in another.
  • In contrast, if you aren’t testing that particular portion, you will continue to fail.
  • The fact that you have one failed perc test does not necessarily imply that you have failed completely, or that the land is a lost cause.
  • People generally consider this to be a long shot, but you’ll never know unless you give it a go.
  • This will bring you closer to knowing if the answer is a definitive “no” or whether you can take certain changes on your land to make it more constructible.

If the water table is low, you have a better chance of passing a perc test, and in many regions, the water table is more likely to be low during particular seasons.

Find out when the failed perc test was done, and if it occurred during a time when the water level in your region would have been high, you may have a second opportunity at success on your hands.

In addition to being fairly priced (depending on your property’s circumstances and local standards), there are ecologically acceptable alternatives to traditional septic systems.

In the case of making an otherwise unbuildable property buildable again, it may be well worth the effort to invest in.

If your property has varied topography, it may make a significant impact in the different types of soil that can be found on your property.

Allow your excavator to test a few different locations on your property to ensure that you are not giving up too soon.

Occasionally, if you wait long enough, municipal water and sewer service will become accessible in your neighborhood. It might be a tedious and time-consuming waiting game, but it may be worth your while in the end. You should just wait it out if it’s the right piece of property for you.

6. The type of soil your property has plays a large role in whether or not it passes

When soil has significant percentages of sand and gravel, it is more likely to pass the perc test. This is due to the fact that sandy soil absorbs water at a far higher rate than clay, silt, or solid rock. When the land is located in a region with a low water table, it also does a better job of absorbing water than when it is not. Generally speaking, soil will fall somewhere in the center of any of the following. The granules of sand and gravel Silt particles of a small size Clay particles of minuscule size (the smallest)

7. You can do a few tests on your own soil to see what you have

A basic notion of the texture of your soil may be obtained without having to invest the time and money in a perc test. Here are a few examples of how you can go about it. Using a shovel, dig down to the lighter soil beneath the first few inches of topsoil, also known as loam. Take a handful of them. Clay texture is present in substantial amounts in soil that is sticky and moist in texture and may be formed into a long, thin ribbon or worm that retains its shape. The ribbon test is used to determine whether or not you are able to construct a ribbon of dirt that is 2 inches or more in length.

You may also use this Home Soil Percolation Test to determine soil percolation.

8. The perc test procedure varies based on the municipality

In the end, the perc test technique differs depending on where you are in the world. A perc test, on the other hand, will almost always be done by a licensed excavator in most countries. In addition to the owner, a representative from the county health department will be present during the test. The excavator will normally dig two deep holes to evaluate the drainage rate of the soil on the job site, and the results will be recorded. Using simple equipment, kids pour water down the hole they dug and measure how long it takes for the water to drain in minutes per inch.

As a result, you must normally have an official present to ensure that the exam is properly observed.

9. A perc test does not last forever

In most cases, perc tests are valid for 2-5 years, while the actual length of time varies depending on the local regulatory authority. As a result, it is critical to know when the most recent perc test was performed. It is necessary to commission a new test if you wish to construct on the lot if the existing test is older than 10 years old.

10. There are some common limiting factors for septic systems beyond a perc test

If you pass the perc test, it is possible that you may not be free of trouble. Is it true that most towns demand that a septic tank drain field (also known as an aleach field) fulfill particular specifications that go above and beyond simply passing a percolation test? We bet you didn’t realize how tough it may be to prepare property for construction! Consider the following points to be aware of even before you get down to the nitty-gritty of septic system rules. Slope with a lot of incline: The highest permissible slope for a typical system is between 20 and 30 percent, depending on the system.

The use of engineered fill may be appropriate in particular situations.

Wetlands and floodplains are two types of floodplains.

It is not permitted to construct a septic tank drain field in wetlands or flood zones. Drainage on the job site: During storms, it is important that your septic tank drain field is not in the route of runoff. This has the potential to produce erosion or floods in the system.

11. There is a minimum distance required for a septic tank

There are minimum distances that must be maintained between a septic tank and its drain field, as well as between the tank and other structures, property lines, water pipelines, wells, and open water. Even though the actual lengths will differ from one region to another, the most essential criteria to bear in mind is the minimum distance between the planned leach field and any privately owned wells (which is usually around 100 feet). You’ll need to be aware of these distances in order to comply with local regulations, and you may be required to select a new field to utilize in 20-30 years after the original field is depleted.

See also:  How Much Does Septic Tank Inspection Cost In Marshfield Ma? (Solution found)

12. A perc test costs between $150 to $1,500

Performing a perc test will cost you something, just like anything else in life, and the cost might vary greatly depending on who you employ and how much work is necessary. Keep in mind that $1,500 is on the higher end of the spectrum, so you shouldn’t be overly overwhelmed by the figure itself.

13. You can use context clues if you want to avoid a perc test

Again, while it’s frequently advised to have a perc test performed before to purchasing a house, we understand if you’re attempting to keep under a specific spending limit. In most cases, there are several plainly visible criteria that can assist you in determining whether or not your property is likely to pass a perc test. You don’t want to pay anything? Make use of the clues provided by the context! Take a look at your immediate surroundings. Do they have any structures on their land? Is it clear that they passed the perc test on the surface?

  1. While there is no assurance, if you are ready to take the risk, there is a good probability that you will succeed.
  2. A nearby body of water might indicate a number of different things, including water that is close to the surface, wetlands, or a flood zone, among others.
  3. The expense of a perc test may be justified in this situation.
  4. Can you describe the geography of your land in more detail?
  5. Is there an incline to it?
  6. Taking these considerations into account may assist you in deciding whether or not to have one – in either direction.

14. There are options for a non-buildable property

That is to say, you failed your perc test and were unsuccessful with any of the other options. Never be concerned! We have some options for those of you who will not be able to establish a septic system on your land due to financial constraints.

  • Storage facilities, pole barns, horse stables, grazing areas, crops, orchards, camping, hunting, lumber, mining, and drilling are some of the possibilities.

Even if your perc test did not turn out the way you had hoped, don’t give up on the possibility of putting your property to good use.

Final thoughts

A perc test is a basic test that is done to determine how well water drains on your land and if it is appropriate for a septic system installation. If a property does not already have water or sewer hookups, a septic system might be installed to assist make it habitable. When landowners receive a failed perc exam, they are frequently stressed. If this occurs to you, take a deep breath and regroup. You have two options: either repeat the steps in 5 and attempt to get a different result, or choose one of the alternate uses for your property in 14.

Don’t give up hope!

Additional Resources

If you are seeking for inexpensive land to purchase, you may find it on our Listings page. Before you acquire property, be sure to review the Gokce Land Due Diligence Program to ensure that it meets your needs. If you are wanting to sell land, please see our article on How to Sell Your Land for more information.

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Now is the time to subscribe. I hope you have found this content to be interesting. If you are interested in purchasing or selling land, you should look into the following: Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, accountants, or financial advisors, and the information contained in this article is provided solely for informative reasons. Our own research and experience have informed this post, and while we strive to keep it accurate and up to date, it is possible that some inaccuracies have occurred.

  • Erika is a former Director of Affordable Housing for the City of New York who has transitioned into a full-time land investor.
  • She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Architecture and with a Master of Urban Policy from Columbia University before establishing Gokce Capital.
  • Erika presently resides in the New York Metropolitan area with her husband, daughter, and cat.
  • She is originally from Chicago and still considers herself to be a midwesterner at heart, despite her current location.
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Why and How to do Perc Test for a Septic System

A perc test, also known as a percolation test, is a type of soil test that is conducted prior to the installation of a septic system. The perc test is incredibly significant since it determines the degree of liquid absorption of the soil where the planned septic tank will be installed, which is extremely crucial. Because of this, it is possible to predict how soon waste from the septic system will be absorbed into the soil. In order to function properly, a septic system must enable material from the septic tank to flow into leach lines that are installed adjacent to the tank.

Unless the soil surrounding the proposed septic system placement is capable of absorbing huge volumes of liquid, a new location will be required, or the septic system may collapse, necessitating the need for expensive repairs.

A soil test as well as a perc test are often necessary before a new construction permit can be obtained in many locations.

When completing a perc test for the purpose of obtaining a construction permit approval, a professional inspector would normally drill many holes around the whole planned septic system area.

An undesirable perc rate is generally defined as one in which the time spent on each inch is less than 15 minutes or higher than 105 minutes. Although each location has its own set of criteria and regulations for acceptable perc rates, they are all consistent.

Step 1

In the area where you intend to install the septic tank, dig a 2 foot-deep hole. Make sure the hole is the correct depth by measuring it with a measuring tape. It is not necessary to have a large hole in the ground.

Step 2

Fill the hole with water and let the water to thoroughly soak into the soil and dirt surrounding the hole. Fill the hole with water once again, and then use the tape measure to assess the depth of the water in the hole once more.

Step 3

Set a timer for exactly 30 minutes and wait for it to expire. Observe the depth of the leftover water in the hole after 30 minutes and take a measurement.

Step 4

Make a calculation for the percolation rate using the formula below: 30 minutes divided by a factor of (initial water depth minus final water depth). Example: The initial water depth at the start of the perc test was 24 inches, and the final water depth at the completion of the 30-minute test was 20 inches. 30 divided by (24 minus 20), or 30 divided by (24 minus 20) = 30/4 = 7.5 is the calculation for this case. Perc rate in our case would be 7.5 minutes per inch in our example.

Step 5

The result of the perc test should be compared to the requirements of your local building regulations to discover if your soil satisfies the perc test standards in your location. Every county and municipality has its own set of standards and factors that are incorporated into the construction rules, such as the size of the tank, the size of the home (number of bedrooms and bathrooms), and the number of leach lines that must be installed.

Percolation test – Wikipedia

In preparation for the construction of an aseptic drain field (also known as a leach field) or an infiltration basin, apercolation testing (also known as aperc testing) is performed to assess the water absorption rate of soil (that is, its capacity for percolation). An accurate percolation test must be performed in order to construct an appropriate septic system. When put in its simplest terms, percolation testing is just measuring how quickly a known amount of water dissipates into the subsoil of an identified drilling hole with a known surface area.

In general, sandy soil will absorb more water than soil that contains a high percentage of clay or land where the water table is near to the surface of the ground.

Testing method

For a percolation test, the soil of the proposed leach field is prepared by digging one or more holes into it to a specified depth, presoaking the holes by maintaining a high water level in the holes, and finally conducting the test by filling the holes with water to a specific level and timing the drop in level of the water as it percolates into the surrounding soil. Based on the size of the facility, the results of the percolation test, and several other factors, multiple empirical equations may be used to determine the size of the leach field that is necessary.

  • The depths of these should be varied between three and six feet below the surface of the water, in ideal circumstances.
  • The results of the testing of these holes will be expressed as a numerical number in minutes per inch.
  • Testing for horizontal pits normally entails drilling five to eight test holes in a straight line, or following a common contour, from three to ten feet below the surface in order to detect the presence of the pit.
  • Because of their vast size, vertical seepage pits require somewhat different testing procedures than horizontal seepage pits, but the basic testing approach remains the same.
  • In order to design a sustainable septic system, this rate is utilized to determine the size and number of pits that are required.

Once again, the exact depths will be determined by municipal health standards. The use of local groundwater data in the event of a vertical seepage pit is possible, or the pit will be backfilled in accordance with county health code if the drill hole encounters groundwater during the excavation.

Alternatives

Some countries challenge the accuracy of a percolation test to assess the treatment quality of soil and instead rely on soil texture analysis-along with long-term acceptance rates (LTAR)-instead of, or in addition to, a percolation test to determine the treatment quality of soil.

References

What is a Perc Test and how does it work? It is possible to test a soil’s ability to absorb a known volume of water over time using the Perc Test (also known as the Percolation Test). It was typical practice in North Carolina in the early 1980s to utilize this procedure to determine whether or not a particular site was acceptable for a septic drain field. Several factors contributed to the discontinuation of this technique of testing in North Carolina. The early analyses and design of onsite wastewater systems did not take into account other aspects affecting the soil’s physical characteristics.

Many areas along the coast have soils with a high sand concentration and permeability ranging from moderate to fast, which makes them ideal for coastal development.

Method of evaluating in the modern era In North Carolina and South Carolina, the Perc test has evolved into a process known as “Soil Evaluation,” which stands for “Soil Evaluation.” In this approach, field observations of soil physical attributes are made, including the soil’s color and structure, as well as the texture and position of the landscape, as well as other horizontal setbacks from ecologically sensitive locations, water supply features, and other wastewater fields.

The present approach has been in use under current regulations since the early 1990s, and it has shown to be effective in terms of creating better-functioning wastewater dispersal fields that can treat wastewater effectively throughout the year.

A large number of individuals acquire and sell land.

When an examination has been completed and it is determined that the site is appropriate for onsite wastewater treatment, a seller’s ability to sell a property may be enhanced significantly.

Unlike official county permit evaluations, independent consultant assessments do not need the same amount of site preparation as official county permit evaluations, and they may frequently be completed considerably more quickly.

In addition to 404 Wetlands and Coastal Wetlands, Foundation Testing and Phase I Evaluations are all possible options for your project.

It is critical to ensure that your subject property has the capacity to handle the wastewater flow required to achieve your project objectives.

In order to verify that the location has the ability to meet your objectives, it is always advisable to incorporate this study throughout the due diligence stage.

As the best Environmental Consulting Firm in Wilmington, North Carolina and the surrounding region, we ensure that all of our duties are carried out in a safe and professional manner at all times. To talk with a member of our educated team, please call or click today!

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