Those seeking planning permission for single houses or other developments where no connection is available to public services must submit a percolation test and a proposed design of a waste water treatment system to local authority .Since 1991 the standard test was known as SR6 are required that a trial hole and two test holes were dug.

In 2000, a more effective test (know as EPA 2000) was introduced, following extensive consultation and research by the Environmental Protection Agency. This is a much more extensive and time consuming test. The old SR6 test could be done on average, in 6 hours.

However, the person carrying out the new test would typically have to attend on site for up to 3 days. In addition to the qualified person carrying out the test, it is also for a minimum of 120 gallons of water to be bought to the site.


While the test was introduced in 2000, it has only become mandatory on a gradual basic since mid 2004 as various local authorities changed from SR6 1991 to EPA 2000.The Purpose of the percolation test is to establish the quality of the soil, which will allow a system to be designed that suits the particular site. Certain sites are not suitable for onsite waste system, and where possible this should be established at the preliminary site assessment stage.

The design and layout of the onsite waste water management system is central to obtaining planning permission and takes precedence over the location of actual houses on site.O’Leary Architectural Services will engage a competent company to design the onsite waste water management requirements of a site. It is important that the customer has properly functioning treatment system on their site.