If you’re looking to build on a property that doesn’t have access to a public sewer system, the seller may have already disclosed the fact that you’ll need to install a septic tank. Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to request a perc test to make sure that a traditional septic system will work on your property. Here’s why:
Septic tanks basically work by collecting your waste, using bacteria to break it down to liquid form and then distributing the fluid into the surrounding soil. (This is why the grass above your septic tank is so inexplicably green!) The whole system hinges on the soil’s ability to absorb liquid at a specified rate. If your soil can’t absorb the liquid fast enough, pull out the boots and pinch your nose. You WILL notice.
Before you can even consider building a septic tank, you’ll need to identify a spot on the property that has at least two feet of good soil from the base of the drain channels to the stone or to the water table below the surface. In Florida, you should be particularly careful for low-lying areas that may be too close to the water table.
Next, your contractor will need to test the exact rate at which your soil absorbs fluid. The passing rate of the peculation test varies municipality. The two commonly used tests that determine a site’s soil suitability are the soil evaluation test and the already mentioned perc test. Do not forget to first have a talk with the health officer of your area to get informed about the particulars of these two tests.