Perc Test - Soil & Site Evaluation General Information


Listed below are the general steps in the soil and site evaluation process.  


  1. Applicant selects test site (keep in mind test site should be 150' from rivers, streams, ponds, wells, etc.).

  2. Prepare your test site (install piezometers); a sanitarian will schedule the soil pit test portion after the application has been received.

  3. Prepare a preliminary site plan showing test site(s) on property.

  4. Apply for test and include preliminary site plan. Expect results at the end of wet season; usually May or June, provided application received by Dec 1st of previous year.

  5. If test satisfactory, submit a surveyor prepared worksheet. Comments will be sent to surveyor and homeowner.

  6. Record plat once approved (signed) by Health Dept., within six months of submission. If project is a proposed subdivision, must meet all other agency requirements.  Contact Caroline Planning and Codes, since they are lead agency for subdivision plats.


Always check with Caroline County Planning and Codes office (410-479-8100) before beginning a development project. 


Property owners or applicants may select and prepare the areas they wish the Health Department to evaluate for

on-site sewage disposal.  The Soil and Site evaluation process is expensive and may be very time consuming.   


We recommend contracting the services of licensed professionals skilled in land development and knowledgeable about the evaluation criteria.  Licensed professionals have diverse qualifications and may be helpful in selecting the best area for on-site sewage disposal.   Their opinion may be valuable.  

However, our job is to conduct the evaluation, which includes, but is not limited to:

1) Reviewing the site's topography

2) Gathering water table and soils information

3) Conducting percolation tests

Once all the information is received, a decision will be given to you in writing.


If you wish to contest a decision, contact our office.  It is the owner's or applicant's responsibility to have test sites preserved for future reference.  


Some common misconceptions regarding PERC tests are;

  • Sand Mounds are the solution to sites that won’t perc.   False - Some sites do not have sand mound potential.

  • Soils Consultants approve sites.   False - Soil consultants suggest testing sites.  A common mistake is selecting a bad area when better areas may be available.

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) prohibits discrimination in the delivery of services on the basis of race, sex, age, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion or belief, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic testing, and mental and/or physical disability.


See MDH service-nondiscrimination policy 01.02.01 which can be found at

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