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Gainesville VA Perc Test: Testing the Suitability of a Drain Field

Perc Test

The role of a septic system is to carry waste – from the toilet, sinks, showers and tubs – away from your house. Within this process, the septic system allows the solids to settle in the tank and allows the wastewater to be discharged to the drain field and absorbed by the subsurface soil. An effective system requires soil that is able to treat the wastewater and dispose of it before it reaches the groundwater in Gainesville VA. Perc testing tells you whether the soil is suitable for this important task.

What makes soil effective for a drain field?

Permeability is the number one quality of soil that needs to be evaluated. Soils that are impermeable are not suitable for the task of dissipating wastewater or effluent. Effluent would pool on the surface and contaminate the area very quickly with such soil conditions. What we like to see are soils that drain at a moderate pace to ensure that the natural filtering capabilities of the soil de-contaminate the water before it reaches lower levels of the ground.

With consultation from the local health department for Gainsville VA, perc testing is the best way to evaluate the absorption capabilities of the soil. A licensed septic system and perc testing company is the most qualified to conduct the test according to state and local requirements. In some cases, there may be unique testing requests made based particulars of a property. The local health department will want a full understanding of the location proposed for a drain field and the potential areas for risk – such as location of wells, ponds, streams, neighbors.

The test process generally involves digging holes and monitoring the rate at which water levels drop within these holes at certain intervals over a number of hours. The local health department may determine how many holes are dug, the points where they are dug and at what depth and width of the holes for the test. These particularities may be based on a single property or properties generally in Gainesville VA. Perc test results must be reviewed and approved by the local health department.

SES Company


  • Virginia Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association
  • National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association
  • Water Environment Federation
  • Virginia Association of Counties
  • Northern Virginia Building Industry Association
  • Design Build Institute of America
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Dulles Area Realtors Association
  • Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce

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Responsible Management Entity

SES is one of only three businesses to be licensed as a Responsible Management Entity. Loudoun County Virginia was the first in the Nation to establish requirements for an RME based on EPA recommendations. SES manages several communities required to have an RME.

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  • Licensed Conventional & Alternative Onsite Soil Evaluators (AOSE)
  • Licensed Conventional and Alternative Onsite Sewage System Operators
  • Licensed Conventional and Alternative Onsite Sewage System Installers
  • NSF Certified Septic System Inspectors
  • Virginia Class A Contractors License
  • Environmental, Monitoring Well and SDS Endorsements
  • Licensed Sewage Handler
  • Licensed Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators
  • Licensed Water System Operators

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