What is a percolation test?

Percolation tests are designed to determine a soil’s ability to absorb and accept septic tank effluent. When effluent leaves a septic tank, it must be drain (percolate) into the surrounding soil for further treatment. Due to the fact that every property has different soil features, percolation (aka perc, perk) tests must be conducted on every property to determine its ability to support a soil absorption system. A perc test includes soil evaluation as well as site evaluation.

Do percolation tests need to be conducted for septic system repairs?

Yes. For repairs to existing soil absorption systems (drainfields, drywells), a perk test is often required. This is so that any repairs made to a system can be sure to fit within the capabilities of the soil present on that property.

What if my property fails a perc test?

If your property fails a percolation test, there may be a few options. It may be eligible for a sand mound percolation test. If this is the case, a separate test must be conducted and it must pass in order for a property to be eligible for any type of sand mound or alternative system. If it is not eligible for either of these, typically the only solution is holding tanks.

How long is a percolation test valid?

Typically, perk tests are valids for approximately 5 years from the date of testing.