FAQs About Soil and Perc Testing

Why Soil and Perc Testing is Essential Before Installing Septic Systems

Sewer systems are crucial engineering marvels when it comes to public health. Without a reliable sanitary sewer system, people would constantly be exposed to waste, and diseases would run rampant. Unfortunately, a public sewer system may be out of reach for people who value space and independence.

Sewer systems are expensive to build and maintain. That’s why local taxes paid by incorporated areas in a town go to pay for them. Once someone crosses outside of the city limits, other options for dealing with sewage will have to be considered. Luckily, the technology that allows people to live safe and civilized lives off a sewer grid is easily possible. Still, careful planning and testing should be carried out to determine if building in a certain spot is possible. 

The article briefly introduces septic systems designed to handle a home’s sewage and what goes into preparing to install one. These concepts are essential for those buying land to build their dream home in the country. 

What Is Soil and Perc Testing?

testingIn a septic system, a large tank is buried underground to collect all of the sewage in a home. Bacterial action breaks down most solids to the point that they can flow out of the tank along with the other effluent into a system of drainage lines. These lines leech the effluent into a drain field where the water returns to the environment safely. 

Before a septic tank can be installed, the ability of the surrounding soil to absorb and drain water has to be determined. This is done by a percolation test, or “perc test.” During a perc test, an expert digs a hole in the proposed drain field and observes how fast water drains from the hole. The soil is suitable for a septic system if the water drains faster than the threshold. 

Why Is Soil and Perc Testing Necessary?

In short, the authorities require soil and perc testing before a home can be built. In rural areas, the county often ensures that a property passes the tests before construction on a home can begin. Without suitable soil or a septic tank, sewage will not be dealt with safely, and the homeowner could expose themselves to dangerous pathogens and contaminate surrounding water resources. Before buying rural land with hopes of building a home, always make the passing of a perc test a contingency for purchase. 

Why Do Sites Fail Soil and Perc Tests?

testsSince the beginning of construction depends on passing a perc test, most potential builders want to know what influences it. The answer is that several things can cause a site to fail a perc test. Some conditions that cause a perc test to fail are: 

  • High water table
  • Shallow soil
  • Bedrock near the soil surface
  • Sandy soil 
  • Heavy clay soils 
  • Proximity to wetlands or bodies of water 

If a site fails the perc test, other sewer treatment options may be less traditional. Always get answers before beginning construction. 

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services handles septic tank installations from beginning to end. Their experts test, design, and install septic systems of all sizes. Call today for septic tank service in Tallahassee, FL.