Land Capability Assessments (LCA’S)
What is an LCA and why should I get one?
An LCA or Land Capability Assessment (also called a soil test or OSSM (On Site Sewage Management)), is a method where by a sample of soil is taken from your property and tested to determine its viability to accept waste water from your dwelling. Several of these tests can be done on site and some might have to be conducted in a laboratory. The results of these tests allow us to accurately design a system for you that will last the test of time and work! It takes the guess work out of a process that is a vital part of the dwelling and your health as well as those near to you.
What is tested for in the LCA?
There are several components of a test that range from the physical make up of your soil down to a certain depth and its ability to transpire or soak up and treat waste water, to the geographical formation of your block that might limit space, exposure, buffer zones foliage etc. In some case’s the local authority might require a water balance or nutrient report. A water balance can be done on site with information from local weather centres and other factors, however a nutrient report would have to go to a Lab for further testing.
What is a Water Balance?
In some higher risk areas, such as catchment zones, it is vital to determine the ability of your block to be able to soak up and effectively treat, evaporate or transpire more water than what is going to be applied to it by either your house or natural rainfall. The water balance report helps the designer of your system evaluate the correct system design for your particular site. Should you produce more waste water than what can be treated or removed in the allotted area the risk of polluting the catchment is very high!
How do I know if I need an LCA?
We can help you with this, our experience’s and relationship with most local councils, regarding waste water, can give us this information or a simple call to your local councils Environmental Health Officer will give you the answer. Small blocks generally of less than 4000 m2 and new builds would almost certainly require one but sometimes larger blocks or ones with existing dwellings can get away without it.
We advise that every new development or existing property that is adding on to its house get a test done.
Can Worm Smart do my report?
YES! At Worm Smart we have a certified soil tester that will come to your block and have a chat with you about your particular requirements. He will spend some time with you, if possible, discussing your plans for the block and advise and discuss the best appropriate area and design for the disposal field. After taking some samples our tester will do some initial on site evaluations and explain to you any limitations that you might have and recommend the best design to suit your property. Our tester has an excellent knowledge of most systems from design to installation.
Assuming your site fits the criteria for a Worm Smart system, he will then draft up a quote and design for you while still on site. This design can then be submitted to council for permit application.
At Worm Smart, we put you first, we will discuss with you what you want and would like to do, you might want to plant trees or have a lawn there, you might have plans for a shed or tennis court, all these factors and more determine the best outcome for you in the LCA report. That is why we will do our best to arrange a site meeting with you to conduct the tests.
How long and how much?
A site visit can go from 30 min to 2 hours on site, and several more back in the office, depending on the nature of the land and available information. In some cases, we take samples off site for lab testing and this can take up to 10 days. A basic LCA with no limiting factors and written report is $850+GST. If Lab testing and nutrient balances are required, the price can rise to $1650+GST. This price is inclusive of the written report, system recommendation and design.