Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Perc Test

Perc Test is short for Percolation Test, a test of how well (or poorly) water percolates through the soil. Typically this consists of digging a hole to the permeable layer (sandy or gravelly layer) and filing it with water and seeing how quickly it drains. This test was important because it would determine if the existing septic system at this residential property was adequate to serve the bakery as well, or if we would have to upgrade the system. Because the property is in the "critical areas" (within 1000 feet of tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay) if improvements were required it would have necessitated an upgrade to a nitrogen reducing septic system, a very expensive proposition that would have made the bakery project impossible at the current time.

Well, out came the backhoe and the Health Department today to see what was necessary. The backhoe dug down as deep as it could (about 17 feet) where the heavy clay soil of this part of the eastern shore becomes sandier. The Health Department didn't need (or want) to put water in the pit. They just had a look at the soil, thought a bit, and decided that augmentation of the current system was unnecessary. Hallelujah.
What will be necessary is to install a 1500G two compartment tank near the bakery which will be outfitted with a pump that will pump the effluent up to the existing drain field. Not cheap, but not impossible.

In further health department news here is a picture of the Food Service Plan Review Application. Yes sir, that binder full of bs is just an application. Not pictured is the check for the $350 plan review fee. I do love a good bureaucracy.

Up next!: we put in a septic system! excavate a slab! and build a bakery!

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