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Sewage Disposal Testing

We can assist in the testing and design of any of these systems. 

Penn’s Trail Environmental, LLC has developed testing methods based on the requirements established by Pennsylvania (Act 537) state regulations which govern:

  • sewage system planning

  • permitting

  •  installation 


The program is administered locally by each municipality or by a County Health Department (if present) and is overseen by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). 

Some municipalities have additional requirements above and beyond state regulations and we endeavor to address those as well.

Penn’s Trail’s professionals are qualified to acquire the necessary permits to solve your sewage disposal needs.  We are proud of our high success rate in testing and design of problem sites.

Standard septic system types are:

  • Inground seepage beds

  • Inground trenches

  • Elevated sand mounds

  • Spray irrigation systems

State and Local Regulations

About the Testing and Design Process

The type and amount of testing required is dictated by the project and desired system type.  

All septic systems require a detailed examination of backhoe-excavated test pits (sometimes referred to as “probes” or “deep holes”).  

This evaluation determines the type of septic system that may be permitted provided all other site constraints can be accommodated. 

Penn's Trail Environmental, LLC will coordinate with all required regulatory agencies and other subcontractors as necessary to keep the process timely and efficient.

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Alternate septic system types are:

  • Drip disposal

  • A/B systems

  • At-grade systems

  • Small flow treatment systems

  • Evaporation systems (greenhouses)  


Percolation Testing

Several systems require percolation testing to establish the infiltration rate of the existing soil as a basis for the system sizing.  This two-day test requires the site to undergo a pre-soak period so that the soil is evaluated in a moist state.  The infiltration rate determined by the second day of testing, coupled with the proposed sewage flows, determines the footprint of the system.

Infiltration Rate

Certain types of septic systems do not require percolation testing to establish minimum sizing.  For these systems, an infiltration rate is assigned by a soil scientist based on the observed soil characteristics during the initial phase of testing.  Penn’s Trail has the qualified professionals who can make this happen.

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