your aging septic system - is it OK?

Important Facts For Prospective Land Buyers About Septic Tank Installation

If you are looking for land to build a house on, considering a few important factors is extremely important before you make a final purchase. Choosing land that does not have access to city water means you will need to have a septic system installed during the construction of your house. However, if the soil on the land you would like to build on does not pass a percolator test, you will not be able to build or place a septic tank in that location. Find out more about percolator tests and why they are necessary for successful home construction.

Why Is A Percolator (Perk) Test So Important?

In order for a septic system to properly function, the drain field (also referred to as the leach field) it uses for emptying effluent waste water into needs to be sufficient. If the soil is not permeable so that fluids can be efficiently absorbed in the drain field, a septic system cannot be placed in that area. Also, if the ground beneath the first layer of top soil is not hard enough to deter the waste water, you will not be able to build on that site. If hard, impermeable layers are not sufficient below where the drain field pipes would be placed, the chances of pathogens and other contaminants present in waste water reaching ground water sources is high. For this reason, a septic system could not be constructed, thus also meaning no home could be built on that site as well.

What Kind Of Soil Passes A Perk Test?

Soil that can act as a filtering system is the best for drain fields. In most cases, soils that are high in sand and gravel content are the best choices for drain field placement. If you wonder about whether soil on the land you are considering is perk test worthy, dig down with your hands just beneath the top soil. Scoop up a small bit of the soil beneath the top soil into your hand and roll it back and forth in your palms. If it appears sticky and rolls into a long shape like a pencil, that soil has a fair amount of clay in it and most likely will not pass a perk test. If the soil in your hand remains loose as you roll it about, you can usually count on it passing a perk test. Areas high in clay and rock are not suitable for drain field absorption.

Taking the time to make sure the land you want to build a house on is suitable for one is important to avoid wasting a lot of money on your purchase. Land that would not pass a perk test would be more difficult to sell to other prospective home builders as well.

Speak to a local septic tank specialist to learn more.