Don’t Forget a Percolation Test in Mobile, AL Before You Start Building

July 15, 2016 6:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re planning to start building a property, there are a variety of terms you may not previously have heard. This post gets you one step closer to understanding the concepts that the surveying company you’re working with will discuss with you by explaining what you need to know about percolation tests in Mobile, AL.

What is a percolation test?

A percolation test is a test to learn what the absorption rate of soil is for a particular area of land. It is performed by digging or drilling a hole into the ground, then pouring water into the hole and observing how quickly the soil absorbs the water.

Typically, soil that is sandy will absorb more water than soil that contains a high amount of clay or soil located close to the water table (this term refers to the level directly below where the ground is saturated with water).

It may be required before a new building permit can be issued.

Why is it used?

County health departments typically require a percolation test to help ascertain whether a property can hold a septic system. From there, a septic system can be properly designed.

A property needs to be well equipped to handle a septic system because it is through the septic system that waste water—what remains once solid waste settles in a septic tank—is ultimately released into the soil and eliminated when it is able to be quickly absorbed by the soil.

What information does it provide for a developer?

The results of the percolation test indicate to a developer whether the property can accommodate the installation of a septic system. If the answer is yes, the designers of the septic system can use the specific results in their work to determine the square footage and logistics needed for the septic system.

When is it performed?

Though it can vary by jurisdiction, typically the test is performed during a meeting between a representative from the county health department and the property owner and/or someone who is a licensed excavator and is able to dig the hole and test the soil’s drainage rate. The health department must be present in person for this test, as they decide upon and enforce the rules that determine when a septic system is suitable for a particular property.

Now when it comes time to schedule this test on your way to obtaining a permit for your new building, you’ll know all the essential details about why and how you need to have a percolation test performed for your property in Mobile, AL.

As you move further along in the property development process, remember that the experienced team of surveyors and engineers at Polysurveying & Engineering are here to serve your project’s needs. We specialize in both residential and commercial projects. We offer surveying services (such as elevation and property surveys), as well as civil engineering services (such as construction inspections and utilities design).

Contact us today at 251-666-2010 for more specific details or to schedule an appointment to learn what services might be right for your project.

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