All soils are permeable materials, water being free to flow through the interconnected pores between the solid particles. The pressure of the pore water is measured relative to atmospheric pressure and the level at which the pressure is atmospheric (i.e. zero) is defined as the water table (WT) or the phreatic surface. Below the water table the soil is assumed to be fully saturated, although it is likely that, due to the presence of small volumes of entrapped air, the degree of saturation will be marginally below 100%. The level of the water table changes according to climatic conditions but the level can change also as a consequence of constructional operations. A perched water table can occur locally, contained by soil of low permeability, above the normal water table level. Artesian conditions can exist if an inclined soil layer of high permeability is confined locally by an overlying layer of low permeability; the pressure in the artesian layer is governed not by the local water table level but by a higher water table level at a distant location where the layer is unconfined.