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The term “percolation” means “to trickle down through something porous.”

In simple words, a soil percolation test is conducted to identify whether or not the soil’s mixture and density are suitable for wastewater treatment and septic system installation. Percolation tests aren’t too difficult, however, they require correct tools and techniques to obtain accurate results.

Let’s dig deeper to learn how a perc test is conducted.

Step 1: Dig the Perc Test Hole

First things first, you’ll need to dig a hole, measuring approximately five feet wide and five feet deep for the best results. This measurement is ideal to ensure the right invert level for an outlet pipe.

Homeowners can refer to this resource for more details.

Step 2: Saturate the Soil

The next step is to clear out loose debris in the perc hole. This may include stones, gravel, soil lumps, and other impurities. Smoothening the hole’s surface will allow you to get more precise measurement results.

After the saturation process, mark a depth of twelve inches in the cavity. Fill this hole with clear water and let the water seep into it for at least four hours. Make sure to keep checking the speed at which the water is seeping. If you notice that the water is soaking faster than anticipated, this means that the soil is too porous. This type of soil is ideal for septic tank installation.

A percolation test in progress

If the water doesn’t seep away within 20 minutes, continue with the steps mentioned below:

Step 3: Determine the Rate

After waiting for at least four to five hours, fill the hole again and observe the absorption speed. Start timing the perc speed per minute at regular intervals for about five times. Use this reading to calculate the VP rate. Check out this resource to understand the meaning of different readings.

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