Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Perc Testing

Perc Testing Cost


How Much Does Perc Testing Cost?

 
low costSimple (Unofficial) Perc Test: $0-$100average costOfficial Perc Test: $100-$1,000+
post E-mail post Post   Comments (3)

Also called a percolation test or a perk test, a perc test evaluates how well soil absorbs liquid. They are typically required to get a permit to install a new septic system or a drainage system (like French drains) that is dependent on the soil absorption rate. Simple perc tests may also be used to determine what will grow well on a specific site.

In a traditional perc test, holes are dug to a specific depth and filled with water, then the sinking water levels are measured for a certain length of time. However, the term "perc test" is also used to refer to a soil or site evaluation, when a backhoe digs two to six pits 5'-10' deep and an inspector or engineer enters each pit and evaluates the exposed soils.

Typical costs:

  • An official perc test that meets all local requirements for a septic or drainage system permit can cost $100-$1,000 or more depending on site size and conditions. Some areas mandate a traditional perc test while others specify soil/site evaluation/testing with deep pits, but call it a perc test. Local laws will dictate whether the test must be performed by a government employee or a private engineer; and typically there's a separate cost for having a backhoe operator prepare the site. County/engineer fees for a typical perc test might cost $150-$500 while use of a backhoe can add $300-$450 or more, for an average total of $450-$950 for a complete perc test. For example, Guthrie County[1] in Iowa charges $175-$225 in perc test fees, and Caroline County Health Department[2] in Maryland charges $270-$300.
  • For gardening or landscaping purposes, a simple (and unofficial) perc test can be performed with a shovel and tape measure at no cost as a do-it-yourself project, or a landscaper or gardener might charge $25-$100 depending on how many holes are dug and how long it takes. StartALawnCareBusiness.com provides a video[3] demonstrating a simple perc test.
Related articles: French Drain, Dry Well, Septic System

What should be included:
  • Perc tests are typically performed during the wet season, although some areas allow them to be done anytime. Depending on how many holes or pits are needed and local soil conditions, a perc test might take a few hours or all day.
  • The Caroline County Health Department in Maryland explains required site preparation procedures[4] and answers frequently asked questions[5] for perc tests using test pits, while a septic designer provides an overview of perc test pits[6]
Additional costs:
  • A large property with several different types of soils might require multiple perc test sites, increasing the overall cost.
Shopping for perc testing:
  • If an official perc test is being done to determine what type of septic system to install, check with the local department of health[7] for specific perc test requirements, including whether the test must be performed by a government employee, a private soils engineer or a septic system designer. The health department may provide a list of local companies that perform perc tests.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (3)
CostHelper News


Top 7 Ways to Trim Pet Expenses
Pets, for many, are part of the family; another member that needs love, feeding and treatment, just like anyone else in the household. || Posted September 18 2013


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Perc test
Amount: $600.00
Posted by: AnaT in Dunkirk, MD.Posted: June 27th, 2017 11:06AM
Site Size: 5'Type of Test: 0fficial perc test
Needed a backhoe on hill. Took four hours and 2 pits about 5' deep. County inspector fee added another $250.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Perk Test
Amount: $900.00
Posted by: C Spencer in Roanoke, VA.Posted: June 10th, 2015 08:06AM
Site Size: 47 AcresType of Test: Hand auger hole with soil analysis
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Installing a curtain drain
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: JillH in Clarksville, TN.Posted: July 25th, 2013 02:07PM
Want to find out average amount of what it costs to install a curtain drain for a septic system on a piece of land we are selling.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With Perc Testing
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Site Size: Type of Test: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.guthriecounty.org/envhealth/docs/Percolation%20Test%20Request-Procedure.pdf
  2.  www.carolinehd.org/html/EHS/EHS-FS.html
  3.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ZPqF8ggFw
  4.  www.carolinehd.org/html/EHS/PA-SITEP.htm
  5.  www.carolinehd.org/html/EHS/QA-PERC.htm#PWHAT
  6.  www.eco-nomic.com/indexsdd.htm#Site Evaluation
  7.  www.cdc.gov/mmwr/international/relres.html
More Home and Garden Topics
Check Out All Costs for Home and Garden How Much Does a Fence Cost? How Much Does a Furnace Cost? How Much Does Garden Service Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 
Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
General Cleaning except windows and VCT
Paid: 0.00
Going rates can vary. However, your best advice is to stay below prices like Service Master or some big franchise charges. In general their help isn't that bright or speaks no English... [more]
-Gary Honey
Office Cleaning Cost
Dental Implants
Paid: 72000.00
Why do full dental implants cost more than purchasing a condominium?... [more]
-Jack Sprat
Dental Implants Cost
Clogged toilet to main line clean out
Paid: 465.00
Came out and pulled toilet ( took a whole 5 minutes)and ran his drain cleaning machine 75ft. to clear out clog which took about 15 minutes or so. Put on new wax ring and toilet back in place... [more]
-
Unclogging a Toilet Cost
Houston Flood
Paid: 450.00
never flooded, not in flood plain but just had 34 inches of rain in 5 days, huge flood 5 minutes away, hoping costs don't increase and that new maps won't include us in flood plain$250,000 building, $100,000 contents, $1250 deductible... [more]
-Thankfully Dry
Flood Insurance Cost
Ear Wax Removal
Paid: 1100.00
Yes, just got the bill! I paid my copay at my visit... [more]
-Michelle S.
Ear Wax Removal Cost
Scamming in Detroit
Paid: 410.00
My husband and I went to a sporting event on the Wayne State Campus. We parked in what was apparently a non-campus location. There were no signs stating that we couldn't park there, so we took advantage of the spot. Bad on us... [more]
-Kris Starosta
Recovering a Towed Vehicle Cost