N.J. Admin. Code § 7:9A-6.5 - Pit-bailing test

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) The following equipment is required for performing a pit-bailing test (see Figure 8 in Appendix A):
1. A back-hoe;
2. Wooden or metal stakes, string and a hanging level;
3. A steel measuring tape;
4. A pump (optional);
5. A stop-watch; and
6. A perforated pipe, with a three inch diameter or greater.
(b) The following procedure shall be used for preparation of the test pit:
1. Step One: Excavate a test pit extending into but not below the soil horizon or layer to be tested. The bottom of the pit should be a minimum of 1.5 feet below the observed water level and a minimum of six feet below the proposed level of infiltration. The bottom of the pit should be relatively flat and level. The shape of the pit within the depth interval tested should be approximately square or round. A rectangular or elliptical pit may be used provided that, within the depth interval tested, the length of the long dimension is no more than twice the length of the short dimension. The excavation made for a soil profile pit as prescribed in 7:9A-5.2 may be used provided that all the above requirements are met.
2. Step Two: Allow the water level to rise in the pit for a minimum of two hours and until the sides have stabilized. If large volumes of soil have slumped into the pit, this soil must be removed before proceeding with the test. If the sides of the pit continue to slump and cannot be stabilized, the test shall be abandoned. If water is observed seeping into the pit from soil horizons above the zone of saturation in which the test is being conducted, adequate means shall be taken to intercept and divert this water away from the test pit, otherwise the pit-bailing test shall not be used. If, during the excavation of the pit, the water level in the pit rises suddenly after a hydraulically restrictive horizon is penetrated, and continues to rise above the bottom of the hydraulically restrictive horizon, the pit-bailing test shall not be used.
(c) The following procedure shall be used for performance of the pit-bailing test and the calculation of test results:
1. Step One: Establish a fixed reference point for depth to water level measurements which will not be disturbed during removal of water from the pit or which can be temporarily removed and later re-positioned in exactly the same place. One way to establish a removable reference level mark is as follows:
i. Drive stakes firmly into the ground on opposite sides of the test pit, several feet beyond the edge, where they will not be disturbed.
ii. Next, stretch a string with hanging level from stake to stake, over the pit, and adjust the string to make it level.
iii. Finally, secure the string to the stakes and mark or notch the positions on the stakes where the string is attached so that the string may be removed temporarily and later repositioned exactly in its place.
2. Step Two: Measure the distance from the reference level to the bottom of the pit and to the observed water level.
3. Step Three: Lower the water in the pit by at least one foot, by pumping or bailing. If the back-hoe bucket is used to remove water from the pit, it may be necessary to remove the reference level marker prior to bailing and re-position it in its original position prior to beginning step four.
4. Step Four: Choose a time interval, based upon the observed rate of water level rise. At the end of each time interval, measure and record the information indicated in (c)4 i through iii below and repeat these measurements until the water level in the pit has risen a total of one foot or more.
i. Time, in minutes (the time interval, in minutes, between measurements should be chosen to allow the water level to rise by several inches);
ii. Depth of water level below the reference string at the end of each time interval, to the nearest eighth of an inch or one-hundredth of a foot; and
iii. Area of water surface, in square feet. Measure appropriate dimensions of the water surface, depending on the shape of the pit, to permit calculation of the area of the water surface at the time of each water level depth measurement. Entering a soil pit excavated below the water table can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided unless the pit is relatively shallow and the sides of the pit have been stepped and sloped as prescribed in 7:9A-5.2(e)3 to eliminate the likelihood of sudden and severe cave-in of the pit. The distance between two opposite edges of the water surface can be measured accurately, without entering the pit, as follows. Place a board on the ground, perpendicular to the side of the pit and extending out over the edge. Using a plumb-bob, position this board so that its end is directly over the edge of the water surface in the pit, below. Position a second board, in the same manner, on the opposite side of the pit. Measure the distance between the ends of the boards to determine the length of the water surface below.
5. Step Five: Determine whether an adequately consistent set of data has been obtained in accordance with (e)5i and ii below.
i. Calculate the permeability for each time interval using the following equation:

K[a] = (h[rise]/t) x [A[av.]/2.27 (H[LESS THAN]2[GREATER THAN]-h[LESS THAN]2[GREATER THAN])] x 60 min/hr


K[a] = permeability, in inches per hour;

h[rise] = difference in depth to water level at the beginning and end of the time interval, in inches;

t = length of time interval, minutes;

A[av.] = average of water surface area at the beginning of time interval (end of previous time interval) and at the end of the time interval, in square feet;

H = difference between depth to assumed static water level and actual or assumed depth to impermeable stratum, in feet (Depth to impermeable stratum, if unknown, is assumed to be one and one-half times the depth of the pit.); and

h = difference between average depth of water levels at beginning and end of time interval and actual or assumed depth to the impermeable stratum, in feet.

ii. If the calculated values of K[a] for successive time intervals show either an increasing or a decreasing trend, repeat Steps Three and Four until consecutive values of K[a] are approximately equal.
6. Step Six: Remove as much water as possible from the pit. Continue excavating the pit until an impermeable stratum is encountered or as deep as possible considering the limitations of the excavating equipment used and the nature of the soil conditions encountered. Where no impermeable stratum is encountered, the impermeable stratum shall be assumed to be at the bottom of the excavation. Due to the potential safety hazards posed by the excavation of a large test pit such as that required for this test, adequate safety measures shall be taken, including the posting of warning signs and installation of a fence to prohibit access to the pit by the public during periods when the pit is left unattended.
7. Step Seven: Record the depth to the static water level from the same reference level used in Step One, (c)1 above. This step may be conducted either 24 hours after completion of Step Six at (c)6 above or of Step Two at (b)2 above.
8. Step Eight: Recalculate the permeability, K, using the following formula:

K = (h[rise]/t) x [A[av]/2.27 (H[LESS THAN]2[GREATER THAN]-h[LESS THAN]3[GREATER THAN])] x 60 min/hr


K = permeability, inches per hour;

The values of h[rise], t, and A[av]. are the values recorded for these parameters in the last time interval of Step Four of this subsection:

H = difference between depth to actual corrected static water level and actual or assumed depth to impermeable stratum, recorded in Steps Six and Seven, in feet; and

h = difference between the average depth of water levels at the beginning and end of the last time interval recorded in Step Four and the actual or assumed depth to impermeable stratum recorded in Step Six, in feet.

(d) When the permeability calculated in Step Eight of (c) above is slower than 0.2 inch per hour, the horizon(s) being tested shall be considered a hydraulically restrictive horizon and shall not be considered an acceptable zone of wastewater disposal.


N.J. Admin. Code § 7:9A-6.5
Amended by R.1999 d.314, effective 9/20/1999.
See: 31 New Jersey Register 1416(a), 31 New Jersey Register 2741(a).
In (c), added the last sentence in 6, deleted a former 7, recodified former 8 and 9 as 7 and 8, rewrote the new 7, and substituted a reference to Step Seven for a reference to Step Eight in the new 8; and deleted a former (e).

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