Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Fosse septiques

Fosse septiques

In many areas of France, especially in the countryside where mains drainage is not available, sewage has to be treated on site using a Fosse Septique (Septic Tank), or similar treatment plant. In recent years more and more responsibility for overseeing and regulating old and new waste water installations has been handed over to the to the local communes, i.e. the Marie.

The law stipulates that all household waste liquids have to be processed in the correct manner, by means of a Fosse Toutes Eaux (a septic tank that accepts all waste waters) and filtration system. 

Many communes across France have created their own professional body to enforce the law. This is commonly known as Service Public d’Assainissement Non Collectif, but popularly known as SPANC. 

Before a compromis de vente (CDV) or sales agreement can be signed, a fosse report has to be provided to the buyer. Therefore, Allez-Français as a company, strongly advises all sellers to arrange for all diagnostic reports to be done as soon as the property is marketed

In the event of non-conformity, you will have 4 years to rectify any problems with your fosse septique, or the incoming buyers will have 12 months. So this is an important part of the sale agreement.
            
There are 4 stages in the typical process :
1st stage (Collection): Collection of all household waste water and matter from the kitchen, bathroom and WC. If the fosse septique is sited more than 10 metres from the kitchen, the bathroom, and particularly the kitchen waste, should / must first pass though a Grease Trap.
2nd Stage (Pre-treatment): All waste must then flow directly into the septic tank where separation of the solid matter takes place and the treatment begins. About 30% of the waste (sludge lying on the bottom of the tank, scum floating on the top and the liquid effluent) is actively consumed by bacteria. When the effluent leaves the tank it first passes through a 'pre-filter' which captures much of the remaining suspended matter.
3rd Stage (Treatment): The effluent now passes through a sand filter bed, or land drain, where further treatment takes place, removing many more waste and toxic particles.
4th Stage (Evacuation): The treated liquid is then either allowed to soak away into the soil or siphoned off.

If you are installing a new system, the appropriate permission has to be obtained. Roughly every 4 years, your Marie is obliged to make sure your fosse is checked and functioning in the correct manner. They will provide you with a report confirming conformity or non conformity. If non-conforming, they will make suitable recommendations to upgrade your system.
Within the intervening period, when you have your fosse emptied by a licensed waste collector do make sure you retain your receipt as proof. But do not confuse this with a certificate of conformity, because that it certainly is not.
Just as an aside, SPANC are just a government advisory service and have no powers to force you to do anything, if you do not follow their advice after 12 months they will ask you to pay a penalty of the equivalent amount to be connected to mains drainage, but they cannot force you to change your fosse. Having said that, achieving regulatory compliance is absolutely key when selling the property and the mandatory diagnostic reports are a legal requirement before any preliminary sale / purchase contract can be signed, (despite the fact that some agents do this). Because the buyer has just one year in which to meet compliant standards, they will usually seek to 'adjust' their purchase price / offer in order to reflect the potential cost of implementation.



Filed Under:

0 comments:

Post a Comment