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Lincoln, NE

Percolation Test for septic system

We are building a house in the country and its part of a small group of houses. Each lot is around 5 acres. Every lot has perced out and we started building the house. The problem now is the basement is not poured because we have been waiting for a test to figure out where to place the sewer pipes in the house, etc. (we have a builder we are not doing this ourselves) The problem is that we have been trying to get a test done since April. It was too cold and snowy and it's now been raining every day almost since then. So we are at a critical stand still where all construction has stopped. My questions for someone who knows about perc tests is can these been done in the rain or after wet conditions? we did have a day that got 2 inches of rain followed by 6 days of dry weather but the builder wanted to wait even longer then its been raining off and on since then. how dry does it really have to be? I have also heard of wet perc tests done in wet areas would that be an option? we really need to get this thing done (pass or fail). The main issue is the test cost $1000 locally and the builder doesn't want to pay for more than one. Im not too familiar on these tests if anyone could help me understand how dry it really needs to be when these tests are done or if we can do a wet perc.


Leander, TX
I'm not going to pretend that I know too much about a perc test. I do know that if the soil is waterlogged it won't pass. However the problem would seem to be how well drained is the soil in your area. If you were to fail the test there are other types of septic systems which can be used. They could add $10,000 to $25,000 or more to the price of your construction. If money is no object then tell your builder to "do what it takes". Personally I would guess that your builder has enough experience in your area that he is being possibly overly cautious due to past experiences.

John Galt
Forward, March
Happy Camp
reply to htech007
You might check with the houses on either side of you to see if they passed. It might offer some clue as how to proceed.

(Read into this such as you will...)

A is A

Good Bye My Friend
reply to htech007
here is the thing, if you fail your perc test the health dept can require you to put in a much more expensive system than you really need, maybe 10's of 1000's more than you need! call the health dept and ask them how long you normally have to wait after such extreme rain.
Lack of Preparation on YOUR Part does NOT Constitute an Emergency on Mine!


Lincoln, NE
reply to htech007
Thanks for the replies!


Knoxville, TN

1 edit
reply to htech007
my understanding is that once its cert. perc then thats it its perc and you can go on a build. Not sure why theres a problem now but thats why land is perc usually before its sold or its sold with the notation thats it need to be check to be approved and then its not worth alot to most people.

The only thing to me that would hold back a perc test would be ground frost (winter) and usually high rains which it sounds like you have.

I guess if it really is hurting you to wait I would go with what the other houses are setup as, get your "sewer man" involved and keep the drain field/tank in the back of the house if you can (personal preferance) JIC there a problem 10 years down the road the front of your house is not a mess.

EDIT: add this in