What Is A Percolation Test? | Checkatrade
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What is a percolation test?

A percolation test, otherwise known as a ‘perc test’, measures how effectively water is absorbed into the ground. This is done by digging a hole in the ground, saturating it with a measured amount of water, and recording how long it takes for the water to drain away.

The result of a percolation test will determine if the soil provides suitable enough drainage for the intended purpose and the quantity of water that will need draining.

What is a perc test used for?

Perc tests are most commonly used when installing or replacing a septic tank or sewage system in the grounds of your property. This is to ensure that the ground is permeable enough to allow all wastewater to drain away, without pooling or saturating the ground.

The percolation test will confirm whether the water drains at a rate that will allow all contaminants to be removed before the water reaches the water table.

What preparation is needed for a percolation test?

Before you carry out a percolation test in England, you’ll need to have already completed a ‘Groundwater Source Protection Zone search’ and a ‘Trial Site Assessment hole’.

Both of those steps will ensure that any sewage system that’s installed won’t contaminate local groundwater sources (which supply drinking water).

It’s crucial that you carry out the first two steps, otherwise your percolation test will be a waste of time and you could fail to get planning permission for your sewage system.

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