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The most extensive use of field percolation testing for sanitary engineering application has been for the design and control of soil absorption systems for individual household sewage disposal. In addition to the use of the septic tank soil absorption system for the individual home as an on-lot disposal medium, soil is being used increasingly as a more general liquid waste disposal medium. The additional uses further emphasize the need for soil appraisal techniques for sanitary engineering application. In current practice an approximate measure of the capacity of a soil for receiving treated sewage is obtained from falling-head percolation tests with clear water. Administrative and technical deficiencies of the test are discussed, and experience with supplemental soil appraisal techniques is described.
Bendixen, T. W.
Soil Scientist, Public Health Service, Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center, Cincinnati, Ohio