Site Suitability Assessments

site suitability2

Joe Moynihan Engineering has years of experience dealing with site suitability assessments. In 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a manual for the assessment, design and construction of waste water treatment systems and percolation areas. This EPA manual has formed the basis of a highly detailed report and testing procedure to be implemented to new sites before the design of a new house or extension for planning can begin.

It is critical when building or extending new homes that the site is checked for ‘Site Suitability’. If the site does not meet the requirements of the EPA Manual the site is deemed

‘unsuitable’ and cannot be built on under any circumstances. We at Joe Moynihan Engineering endeavour to do the very best for our clients to ensure that the potential site they choose to build on is suitable. A Site Suitability Assessment (SSA) comprises the following:


Desk Study 
of the site and area around it to investigate any factors that would suggest the site is unsuitable to build on, using maps from the EPA and Geological Survey of Ireland. For example:

  • Poor drainage characteristics
  • Archaeological or historically important areas
  • Groundwater flow direction
  • Neighbouring wells

On site assessment which involves the following:

  • Visiting local people in the area to find the position of neighbouring septic tanks and wells
  • Visual assessment of the site and area around it
  • Digging a trial hole to examine the soil strata and water table
  • Digging test holes to carry out a percolation test

Report preparation which involves completing a comprehensive report on the findings of the above assessments.

Treatment system and percolation area design to accommodate the loadings generated by the house and sized suitably to allow for the conditions found on site.

The fully completed report is then forwarded onto the Planning Department of the Local Authority dealing with the Planning Application.
Joe Moynihan Engineering has vast experience dealing with site suitability assessments and we are registered on the approved list of assessors with the local authorities. We have the relevant Professional Indemnity cover needed to perform the test anywhere in the country.

We have a wide base of digger drivers around the country capable of digging the trial holes and water can be brought to the site if our clients do not have access to either.