The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal or financial advice. Call the public health dept and ask them "what do I do". Even if your site fails a perc or deep-hole test, all is not lost. It can also influence how much you are prepared to pay for the land. *You could install a tank and have it pumped a whole lot. If the land fails the perc test it can't be used for a septic system since it won't leech. Sandy soil is likely to drain better, improving percolation. Depending on rules, you can sometimes put in a modified septic system with additional filters, for example. You ask about alternative on-site waste treatment systems. Typically, you’ll have a perc test done when you’re considering the purchase of a site. Andrew Helling is the founder and editor of REthority.com. The perc test results may have a lot to do with whether you want to buy a lot or how much you pay for it. the better. *Tim... thanks for requesting more info. All Rights Reserved, This website uses cookies which are necessary for the function of this website and for a better user experience. The results of the perc test can tell you whether the septic system can be supported, and it will also provide a clue as to how many bedrooms the home can house since this is typically used as an indication of how much wastewater will flow through the pipes. You've spent some time with us! If a lot fails the perc test, it may be difficult or impossible to get a permit for a septic system. If no one builds on the land after it expires, then I would need to get another test done. Does anyone know of any septic options if that is the case? The 10-in. It is clay on grade, sand, gravel then more clay as a cap and sides. Most soils fall somewhere in the middle with a mix of course sand and gravel particles, small silt particles, and miniscule clay particles – the smallest. I'm also worried that the Board of Health will be far more concerned about whatever septic proposal I and my engineer make because we are so close to wetlands. The perc test is typically paid for by either the buyer or the seller of a property that’s intended to be used for homebuilding. The test must be done if the proposed building site for a new construction home is in a location that can't be connected to the local sewer system. There is a bit of a slope on the property, but that slope leads down into more wetlands. A couple of years ago, King County WA (not a terribly progressive county) approves a system called a Glendon Biofilter. There are several ways to take care of the perc requirement. A nearby pond, stream swamp may suggest a high water table and poor perc test results. And that means you need a passing perc test. Test results are usually good for two to five years, and in some cases can be renewed. It would all work by gravity.You'll need a specific fill for the system to work right (and be acceptable to the authorities). Keep in mind that this is no replacement for an official test, but will give you a general idea what you’re working with. Additionally, some say that only health department employees can conduct perc tests. You would have to check with your local health dept or whoever permits septics to determine which alternative types of systems are allowed. The perc test results may have a lot to do with whether you want to buy a lot or how much you pay for it. Local health department rules and regulations control who can do a perc test. It may be wise to at least have a health official on hand when doing the test to make sure it’s done properly and to record the results. Also, a wide range of alternative septic systems have been developed in recent years for use on almost any type of site. Definition and Example. Some the cons include: Sometimes you may decide to skip the perc test when deciding on a land purchase. As prime building sites become increasingly scarce (or prohibitively expensive) in many parts of the country, rural sites that will not pass a percolation or perc test are increasingly common. You can do an informal perc test by shoveling out a hole a few feet deep. The sand has to meet spec too. This enables you to choose the option you feel is best for your situation. Requires engineering work and pumps, etc. Pour bucket of water into the test hole and see how quickly the water level drops. It’s likely that there is a solution out there that will allow you to build on your site. Other main alternative it to hook up to the town/city sewer system. Log in or sign up to reply Posts 88; Votes 14; Milan Obradovic. You can get some idea of a lot’s chances of passing a perc test by examining the soil and any water features. I believe these systems are fairly common, but as to whether a township in MA will accept? Soil testing usually has to be done to determine whether the site can support a home. People who are purchasing land to build a new construction may have to have specialized testing done before they can build. The reasons property can fail the perc test can be numerous but typically include unacceptable soil conditions, a high-water table, a too-small lot or a location near a lake or stream or other environmentally sensitive areas. You can put in a mound system without the mound. © 2020 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Address: 472 Main St, Fiskdale, MA 01518 2. How about sharing the love in a Google review? ImproveNet can connect you with local professionals who can take care of this soil testing for you. Check with the county laws to find out how long a Perc test is valid. Native soils are typically required, although engineered fill may be acceptable in some cases. Septic system regulations vary widely, but most municipalities require that the leach field meet specific requirements above and beyond the perc test. ImproveNet connects you to local professionals who can do a perc test on your land. However, this is no guarantee, as rules may change and even next-door lots may have very different soil percolation. To conduct a perc test, first talk to the local health department official as requirements can vary significantly from town to town as far as who can conduct the test, the minimum number of holes, depth of holes, required absorption rates, and when the tests can be performed. In either of these cases, the lot will probably fail its perc test – at least in that exact spot. Find a good, and I mean GOOD, excavator/septic installer who knows his stuff, and you'll have lots of options. The perc test is a fairly expensive test to conduct because it requires two or more holes to be dug down at least 2 to 3 feet and approximately 6 to 12 inches wide. The reasons property can fail the perc test can be numerous but typically include unacceptable soil conditions, a high-water table, a too-small lot or a location near a lake or stream or other environmentally sensitive areas. This varies from one location to the next. In general, soils with high sand and gravel content drain the best and soils with a high clay content or solid rock are the worst. To determine is a building site is suitable for a septic system, a percolation test (typically called a “perc test’ or “perk test”) is required. Call the public health dept and ask them "what do I do". Some of the more common approaches include: Because of the growing need for economical and effective on-site waste water treatment solutions, the list of available alternatives is growing. Or if Boards of Health ever even consider alternative septic options? If they have septic systems installed, that suggests they passed a perc test and your nearby lot will also pass. You may also hear a perc test described as a “deep hole test.” People may talk about a lot “perking” when it passes the test. For more information, please. To do a perc test, first dig a hole several feet deep. Without a successful perc test, there can be no septic permit. Don’t be tempted to only look at the price of the service. I would make sure that the land has had a recent Perc test. The median cost of this nationwide is $1,142. A perc test is only necessary if a property doesn’t have access to a municipal sewer system . In some cases, a more expensive alternative septic system may be allowed. If the buyer covers the cost of the perc test, they may be able to work out a credit on the purchase price of the land to offset the out-of-pocket expense. If you don’t care about drainage and don’t plan to build on the land, conducting a perc test can be a waste of money. Does anyone know of any septic options if that is the case? Is the lot a steep cliff ? You’ll need a highly experienced earthwork contractor, and possibly the help of a civil engineer or geotechnical engineer, to make this work. Check with the county laws to find out how long a Perc test is valid.

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