A soil test (formerly known as perc test) is when our team comes out to your property with a mini excavator to dig 3 - 5 holes in your yard looking for the best possible soil for the system to be placed. Ultimately, the better the soil the less expensive your system could be. Three boring holes are required for a soil test, but the certified soil tester may dig additional holes in search of better soil.
The soil test is completed by a State Licensed Certified Soil Tester (John Kienbaum, Jr.) A County Sanitary Inspector must also be on site to verify the soils.
We discuss with the homeowner possible locations for the system. Wherever the pits are dug, the system needs to be placed within the boring "triangle". It is best to have an installer perform the soil test who can better judge placement of the system based on homeowners preference, suitable soils, overhead lines, trees, landscape obstacles and room to move equipment and stockpile materials. All are factors that adjust the price of the system.
The report shown to the right is a typical "Soil Test Report"
It reports in detail what type of soil was found at each hole at each depth. The final page is a site plan sketch of the locations of the borings on your property. Like any new construction feature, a septic system also has setback distances it has to follow. Wisconsin Administrative Code enforces minimum distances between improvements and the tank and drain-field..
Studying the soil within the borings gives us answers on the type of system needed for the site (Mound or Conventional). The Certified Soil Tester looks at the soils drainage capability by studying the layers of soil or horizons. He also is looking for signs of high groundwater, mottling (discoloration that indicates seasonal groundwater), bedrock and slowly permeable soil (clay, silty clay, etc.
The type of soil they find determines the type of system required, size, location and depth of the system to be installed.
A completed soil test report must be on file at the County before the installer can get the necessary sanitary permits for your system. Once permits are in place, they can start on your septic system. A completed Soil Test Report is necessary in order to get quotes for your septic system installation. A typical soil test costs $800
Soil Reports on file before 1980
Because of changes in soil test submission requirements, Soil Test Reports created before 1980 may not qualify as an accurate report. A new soil report must be completed.
Soil Reports on file 1981-1990
During this period, testers used a method of soil reporting called, "Perc" or Percloation Test" These reports are deemed valid if the County Sanitarian agrees with the results and it provides enough information.
Soil Reports July 1991 to Present
The new method for soil reporting became in effect by the Wisconsin Administrative Code. These reports are valid unless it is evident that the property has been filled with non-native soils or "fill". In this case, often a soil inspector from the State level may need to come out to help perform and verify the soil test results.
Need a Soil Test? Call John Kienbaum, Jr. at (262) 893-3949