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Serving Northern Virgina / Washington DC Metro Area Customers Since 1987

Perc Testing Explained For Your Northern Virginia Septic Tank

When you build a new home in an area of Northern Virginia that does not have an existing sewer system, perc testing must be completed to determine if the area can be built on or not. Perc testing, short for percolation testing, is completed by a professional septic system installation and perc testing company under the guidance and observation of the local building inspector or board of health.

Perc testing measures the length of time necessary for liquids to be disseminated throughout the soil. This is an essential test to determine whether the potential homebuilding site can sustain a leach field for the septic system. The septic system is responsible for holding and releasing water from the sewer back into the ground.

To test the percolation rate of the Northern Virginia property, experts will dig holes in the ground to remove soil. The number and location of the holes required for perc testing is determined by the size of the potential homebuilding site as well as where the leach field would potentially be located.

The next step in perc testing requires filling the holes with water in time intervals to measure the rate of drainage. As the water drains, the length of time is measured at a per-minute rate. The cumulative amount of time required for perc testing is dependent upon how quickly water drains from each of the holes; the process can take a few minutes, a few hours or in some cases all day.

The time required for each of the holes to drain is then recorded both by the perc testing professional and the local department overseeing the perc test. These times are used to determine whether or not the property is suitable for a leach field and ultimately for building on.

For more information on perc testing and septic system installation, contact Northern Virginia's septic tank and perc testing specialists at Soils and Environmental Services. Serving customers throughout Northern Virginia since 1987, SES specializes in residential and commercial septic system installation and maintenance.

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