ASTM D3385 - 09

    Standard Test Method for Infiltration Rate of Soils in Field Using Double-Ring Infiltrometer

    Active Standard ASTM D3385 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    This test method is useful for field measurement of the infiltration rate of soils. Infiltration rates have application to such studies as liquid waste disposal, evaluation of potential septic-tank disposal fields, leaching and drainage efficiencies, irrigation requirements, water spreading and recharge, and canal or reservoir leakage, among other applications.

    Although the units of infiltration rate and hydraulic conductivity of soils are similar, there is a distinct difference between these two quantities. They cannot be directly related unless the hydraulic boundary conditions are known, such as hydraulic gradient and the extent of lateral flow of water, or can be reliably estimated.

    The purpose of the outer ring is to promote one-dimensional, vertical flow beneath the inner ring.

    Many factors affect the infiltration rate, for example the soil structure, soil layering, condition of the soil surface, degree of saturation of the soil, chemical and physical nature of the soil and of the applied liquid, head of the applied liquid, temperature of the liquid, and diameter and depth of embedment of rings. Thus, tests made at the same site are not likely to give identical results and the rate measured by the test method described in this standard is primarily for comparative use.

    Some aspects of the test, such as the length of time the tests should be conducted and the head of liquid to be applied, must depend upon the experience of the user, the purpose for testing, and the kind of information that is sought.

    Note 1—The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method describes a procedure for field measurement of the rate of infiltration of liquid (typically water) into soils using double-ring infiltrometer.

    1.2 Soils should be regarded as natural occurring fine or coarse-grained soils or processed materials or mixtures of natural soils and processed materials, or other porous materials, and which are basically insoluble and are in accordance with requirements of 1.5.

    1.3 This test method is particularly applicable to relatively uniform fine-grained soils, with an absence of very plastic (fat) clays and gravel-size particles and with moderate to low resistance to ring penetration.

    1.4 This test method may be conducted at the ground surface or at given depths in pits, and on bare soil or with vegetation in place, depending on the conditions for which infiltration rates are desired. However, this test method cannot be conducted where the test surface is below the groundwater table or perched water table.

    1.5 This test method is difficult to use or the resultant data may be unreliable, or both, in very pervious or impervious soils (soils with a hydraulic conductivity greater than about 102 cm/s or less than about 1 × 106 cm/s) or in dry or stiff soils that most likely will fracture when the rings are installed. For soils with hydraulic conductivity less than 1 × 106 cm/s refer to Test Method D5093.

    1.6 This test method cannot be used directly to determine the hydraulic conductivity (coefficient of permeability) of the soil (see 5.2).

    1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

    1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D1452 Practice for Soil Exploration and Sampling by Auger Borings

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D5093 Test Method for Field Measurement of Infiltration Rate Using Double-Ring Infiltrometer with Sealed-Inner Ring


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D3385-09

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D3385-09, Standard Test Method for Infiltration Rate of Soils in Field Using Double-Ring Infiltrometer, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2009, www.astm.org

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