Copyright © Walter G. George Soil Consultant, Inc.. All rights reserved.
Levels of Soil Testing:
Level 1 - General reconnaissance soil testing, usually conducted on large tracts that are being considered for residential or commercial development. General interpretations of soil conditions provided, usually verbally or in paragraph form.
Level 2 - This requires the client to provide us with a boundary survey and a topographic map of the tract. A Level 2 soil map is used by developers for subdivision planning, including road lay-out and potential lot configurations.
Level 3 - This is the most common level of soil mapping that we conduct, as it is the intensity that local Environmental Health departments require. A stamped, signed Level 3 soil map must be submitted to their office in order to obtain a septic system permit prior to construction. A Level 3 soil map can be conducted on small, individual lots, or across large tracts of land. A boundary survey is required, and a 2 foot topographic map is required on large tracts planned for subdivision into smaller lots.
Level 4 - A very detailed soil study that consists of backhoe pits and/or percolation tests in the area of the drain field. A site that requires Level 4 testing usually has soil limitations that require the installation of an advanced, alternative septic system. These soil limitations may include shallow rock or a seasonal high water table, or the presence of sticky, plastic clays. Additionally, areas that have been either cut or filled oftentimes require Level 4 testing.