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Useful Info for your Soil Consultant: Getting Ready Part 3

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

Whether the objective is a perc test, septic and well permit, or subdivision planning, a soil consultant usually needs a certain about of information to begin the fieldwork. Getting Ready Part 3 goes over the information your soil consultant is likely to request.

What your Soil Consultant needs to know

An important factor independent of the property itself is the planned use of the building, and your soil consultant will need some details, including the number of bedrooms and potential renovations / additions. Will a pool or detached garage be installed during the project?

Your soil consultant will also need a copy of the survey plat showing the property, this includes where property boundary corners and lines are located, but may show utility lines, easements, roads, and water bodies. Other important information: Will the structure have a basement with plumbing fixtures? For commercial clients, more detailed information will be needed regarding the proposed use and capacity.

SSC works with partnership with wastewater engineers to develop sewage disposal system designs for rural commercial development.

Previous Site Evaluations

Many undeveloped properties have changed hands once or many times in the past, and some prior real estate transactions may have included Feasibility Soil Study or “perc test" results.

Although using the soil notes prepared by another consultant in place of performing a fresh site evaluation is considered unethical, there are situations when having knowledge of a previous site evaluation can be helpful.

For instance, larger properties may include numerous locations that could be evaluated for a potential drainfield site and, although a previously studied location did not “pass” the test, another area on the property could be suitable, so knowing that there are areas to avoid can save time and expense. Knowledge of old wells or septic systems from previous development is also very useful.

Often, three main information sources could be aware of any previous site evaluations, previously approved permits, or any other pertinent information: the current property owner, the realtor, and / or the local Health Department, so it is a great idea to check with them. You could find that there is already a potentially suitable drainfield site, but if not, any information unearthed can be useful to your soil consultant.

The Next Steps

Site & Soil Evaluations are prepared for a variety of purposes. For the purchase of raw land, documentation of the evaluation (often termed “Perc Test” or “Perk Test”) will be used to prepare a Feasibility Soil Study letter to facilitate the real estate transaction.

If you are ready to obtain a building permit, then the site evaluation information will be used to prepare a Septic Construction Permit Package – a well permit can be included in the package. Similarly, when it is time to build on a property for which a Feasibility Soil Study has already been prepared, the site evaluation notes prepared for the perc test, along with additional fieldwork, can be used in preparation of a Construction Permit Package. For land subdivisions, the site evaluation data and a subdivision survey plat will be used to prepare Subdivision Soil Reports for each new parcel.

The final step in the building process, as it relates to septic systems, is a septic construction inspection and documentation of the newly installed wastewater disposal system. To learn more about the service products mentioned above and to find out which service best suits your needs, please visit the services pages of our website.

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