What does a percolation test show?
A septic tank drainage field allows effluent discharge from septic tanks and sewage treatment plants to be dispersed into the ground. The system consists of a series of perforated pipes laid in an arrangement of trenches situated beneath a soft landscaped area (i.e. a lawn).
The system allows contaminants and impurities to be filtered out by the soil. Although the effectiveness of the process is completely dependent on the type of soil that the effluent is being discharged into.
How long does a percolation test take?
The test usually takes 2 days and consists of digging or drilling a hole in the ground, we then pour water into the hole and observe the rate at which the water is absorbed or drains away.
Having a percolation test is mandatory to ensuring that the correct drainage system is installed at your property.
The suitability of your soil is crucial before starting your installation, the reason being is the absorption rate of the ground will help determine the size of the drainage field you require. It could determine if you can even install one at all. Without conducting a percolation test the ground conditions will be unknown.
Generally there is two types of soakaway drainage field that requires a percolation test.
1. A foul water soakaway for sewage treatment plants and septic tanks. This is created with perforated underground pipes which are usually bedded within gravel. The percolation test is crucial to determine the size of a foul water soakaway system.
2. Surface water soakaways which generally handle large volumes of water. These are only used for rainwater and surface water soakaways. They cannot be used for sewage treatment plants or septic tank systems.
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