Beginning in 2019, the Summit County Health Department will no longer conduct Perc Tests between November 27 and March 1 of each year. Upon review of the testing program, the Environmental Health Division found that many tests requested during the winter months were often delayed or rendered ineffective by unpredictable weather. Property access in remote or under-developed areas of the county was also found to be unsafe and/or impassable due to snow levels, ice, rain, and mud.  Additional variables also impacted test results and availability:

  • Snow cover prevents us from seeing important surface features such as;
    • Vegetation: which gives us an indication of potential high groundwater areas
    • Surface water: or areas of potential surface water
    • Rock outcroppings: which indicate the possibility of bedrock
  • Cold Temperatures affect percolation rates and soil analysis
    • Ice does not percolate
    • Water does not penetrate frozen ground
    • Classifying soils is more difficult with cold/frozen soils
  • Excess moisture from snowmelt and thaw affects perc rates
    • Melting snow filters into percolation holes affecting the perc rate
    • Soils saturated by runoff water will affect percolation rates
  • Equipment access
    • Many HOA and developments have rules prohibiting equipment access during winter months because it damages their roads

For more information, and to schedule Perc Tests for the spring, please contact our Environmental Health Division by phone at 435-336-3234. or email —