Perk rate/soil type

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    • #278722

      I recently purchases some property in SE Tennessee and before actually purchasing is I checked with the local county health dept. to see how the property perked for a septic system. I was told it perked at 45 min. and that this was an acceptable rate. Does anyone have an opinion re this rate? Also, I was told that the soil was something called “Allen soil”. Anyone know exactly what Allen soil is and is that good or bad for a septic system? Wish I had known about this forum earlier. Thanks.

    • #299174
      John Aldrich1

      BDozier, the 45 minute rate to which the Health Department person refers is the percolation rate of the soil, probably using the US Public Health Service Method of soil percolation testing. The results of these tests are expressed in terms of Minutes Per Inch. Usually this is the average of the percolation rates of 3 separate percolation test holes.

      It varies with different jurisdictions, but typically, soils which are considered
      “Suitable” for use in a conventional leach field, must possess a percolation rate that falls within a range of 5 minutes per inch to 60 minutes per inch.

      The percolation rate of the soil is then used in a formula to determine the required area of the leach field. Another variable that is used in the standard formula is the estimated maximum daily flow volume. The variables are then plugged into the formula and the result is the required number of square feet of a conventional, gravel filled, leach field.

      The term “Allen Soil”, is probably derived from the US Soil Conservation Service Soil Survey of your area. The USSCS uses a soil identification, or description method whereby, they give a name to a soil series that was first identified in an area with that name, in this case, Allen. In the Fort Collins, Colorado area, we have a soil series that has been given the name, and is identified as, “Fort Collins Loam”.

      Check with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)office in SE Tennessee, and they will provide you with a copy of the Soil Survey for your area. The Soil Survey is free, and has arial photographs of the entire area covered in the survey. The NRCS is the new name for the agency that was the USSCS.

      After you get the survey, you can read all about the characteristics of “Allen” soils.

      Is this the BDozier from Georgia? Is that you Bill? JWA

    • #299175

      Here is a highly respectable LICENSED contractor in this field

      I am sure he can give you the correct answers your looking for.

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