What is a perc Test?

When people say that land percs, they are implying that the land has been evaluated, and a site on the property has been identified as acceptable for a septic tank system. Be cautious of claims that a certain property has been “perked” unless a valid permit has been issued by the Health Department. "Perc" test is an antiquated term that refers to the practice of digging post holes and pouring water in them to see how quickly the water percolates or is absorbed into the ground.

This type of testing was replaced in the mid 1970s with a comprehensive soil and site evaluation. An evaluation consists of several auger borings or pits where our staff evaluates the soil texture, structure, consistence, and evidence of long-term drainage performance as indicated by color. If an adequate area of soil is found with suitable soil and topography, our staff will issue an Improvement Permit indicating the site can be used for a septic system drain field (absorption field). Permits are good for 5 years.

Show All Answers

1. What is grey water?
2. Can I use grey water to water plants at my home?
3. How often do I need to pump out my septic tank?
4. When should I have my septic system inspected?
5. How long should a septic system last?
6. What do I need to do to maintain my septic system?
7. What permits are needed in order to build a house?
8. What if I have an existing house that I want to replace or add on to?
9. How long is my permit good for?
10. What is a conventional septic system?
11. What is a perc Test?
12. What size does a septic system need to be?
13. Why do septic systems fail?
14. What is a repair area?
15. What kind of trees can I plant near the septic system?
16. How can I find out where my septic system is?