The infiltration of water into the soil plays a key role in the hydrological cycle since it determines the amount of surface water which will remain in the soil, and furthermore will drain as surface flow or that will be recharged in the aquifers.
This varies and depends directly on the geological characteristics of each site presenting a greater infiltration in places where the soil is composed of permeable materials such as sands or gravel and, conversely, less infiltration when there is presence of impermeable materials such as clays.
To determine the infiltration rate of the water infiltration tests are performed on the location in question, for which there are several methods of which Lefranc, Double Ring or Pourchet among others can be mentioned.
To establish the infiltration speed of the water in the soil, it is very important to fix the permeability of the soil. This data is used among other reasons to design infiltration fields for the design of septic tanks, the study of traffic of surface contaminants towards aquifers, elaboration of hydrogeological models, water balance studies, among others.
Infiltration test, or percolation tests as they are also known, includes procedures to evaluate the amount of water that enters the soil in a certain time interval to determine the permeability of the soil and the transit of contaminants from the surface towards the aquifers.
In Geo Costa Rica we work constantly performing infiltration tests mainly as an input to generate information in the preparation of hydrogeological studies and the calculation of the transit of pollutants to aquifers that demand several institutions like SETENA or SENARA in the evaluation of the impact of certain activities on groundwater.