The Benefits of Perc Testing

January 7, 2021 1:56 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you have a septic system on your property in Mobile, AL, you will at some point need to engage in percolation testing on the system, a process also referred to as “perc testing” for short. Perc tests are an important part of long-term septic system maintenance.

But what exactly is perc testing, and why is it so important? Let’s take a closer look.

Perc testing explained

Percolation tests are performed by Mobile, AL engineers to measure how fast the water is capable of flowing through the soil on your property, a speed measured in “percolation rate.” The end of the septic process involves treated water being dispersed into the drain field, where it sinks into the soil. Therefore, the soil must have a good percolation rate. If not, it could result in the area around the drain field flooding over time.

The percolation rate is primarily affected by particle sizes in the soil. Soils with a higher clay content are not as permeable and therefore will have smaller particles with a lower perc rate, while soils with a higher sand content have larger particles and a faster perc rate.

Why it’s important

The percolation rate of your soil will determine the long-term success of your septic system, and whether you need to be concerned about any potential drainage problems. The soil composition and texture have a significant effect on water’s ability to pass through the ground, as well as how much water that ground will retain.

Because septic systems need the soil around the drain field to treat the wastewater, it is very important to understand the soil conditions in your area. Without the soil’s ability to properly absorb water, the effluent could remain in the tank and build up, potentially causing floods.

However, there is also such a thing as soil having too high a percolation rate. Soil that is too loose could cause floods or sinkholes, or result in the water getting down into the groundwater supply before it has been properly filtered and treated by the soil.

The engineers who perform perc tests understand the balance in perc rate in the soil and the ideal soil compositions for use in septic systems. This means they’re able to take the results of perc tests and use them to find ideal locations on your property. Septic tanks will need at least several feet of high-quality soil around all leach pipes, as well as between the tank and hardpan or rock and above the water table. Any engineer you work with will help you choose an ideal site that combines good soil conditions, level ground and water safety.

It’s also important to note that there are circumstances in which perc tests might be required, such as the installation of a new septic tank or the building of a new home.

For more information about the importance of perc testing in Mobile, AL and why you should make them a priority as part of your septic system maintenance and installation, contact Polysurveying today to speak with an experienced professional.

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