Perc Test

Zoning approval is required prior to issuance of permits. To obtain zoning approval, submit the following to the Zoning Permitting Counter:
  • A completed Application for Zoning Approval.
  • Processing fee in cash, check (payable to PWC), or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover) in accordance with the current Fee Schedule.
  • A written statement from the Service Authority stating one of the following:
    • No public sewer is available within 1,000 fee of the subject lot.
    • Public sewer is available within 1,000 fee of the subject site, but it is not capable of being connected to in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan and other applicable law.
  • A written statement from the Health Department stating the following: The existing structure has a failed septic system and no on-site remediation that are within three hundred (300) feet of public sewer with available capacity. 
  • A copy of the plat (to scale) showing the location of the proposed perc test area.   

What is a Perc Test?: A percolation or perc test is measuring absorption rate of soil for an onsite sewage disposal system. A certificate of Zoning Approval to perform a perc test is required prior to filling an application with the Health Department for approval of a permit to install an individual swage disposal system.

What is the minimum lot size requirement for installation of a private septic system?: Minimum lot size for any lot not served by public sewerage system is one (1) acre.

Notes: Planning staff will verify that the lot is a lawful lot of record prior to issuing Zoning Approval. If the lot does not meet one or more of the following standards for the zoning district in which it is located as a result of enactment or amendment of the zoning ordinance, it is considered a nonconforming lot, and its lawful status must be verified prior to issuance of a certificate of zoning approval for a perc test:

  • Lot area
  • Lot width
  • Lot frontage

Download a copy of the Application for Verification of a Nonconforming Use, Lot, or Structure. The perc test is subject to Health Department approval.

For more information and questions about Perc Tests call the Zoning Counters at (703) 792-6830 (TTY: 711) or email [email protected].