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Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Jimbo1066 • Sat 19 Sep 2009 17:32

I have read that if the inspector fails your system,you have 4 years to do the work,if after this time you have not done it the mairie can instruct the work to be done & then bill you!Seems odd that they pass a law to put everyone on mains sewage,& then want to make you spend thousands replacing systems that one day will be obsolete?The joys of France!!Jimbo

Jimbo1066
14
Jan 2008
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Sevy • Tue 10 Aug 2010 19:01

I have had the SPANC inspection, I received a letter earlier in the year but was unable to arrange a suitable date so thought they would forget about it for another 4 years. Then in June another letter came, I thought what the hell and telephoned them and they said they could come Monday after. The man arrived on time and on the date arranged which I was happy with as my telephone French is not that good. On the day I tried to explain where the fosse, grease trap and run off were, I knew it would not comply as the waste water did not run into the fosse. He completed a tick list and drew a basic plan of the system and that was that. He left stating that the report would be in the post to my UK address. 2 months later and nothing. Last week they sent me a bill for 60 euros!!!!. No mention was made of a charge for the service. I have paid it and I am hoping the report will follow. Does this 60 euro bill have to be paid every 4 years when the system is inspected. My French neighbour thinks I am crazy for letting them come to inspect,she says that if the system is causing no obvious problems I should not have agreed to the inspection.

Sevy
73
Mar 2007
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by alldown • Wed 11 Aug 2010 11:40

I think we too had to pay for our inspection (great paying for total rejection)

We did not worry too much as main drainage was planned for about January 2007

Hey this is France obviously we are still waiting :)

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alldown
253
Sep 2005
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Siptea • Fri 13 Aug 2010 13:05

what happens to the old fosse when you have new one
The cheapest, safest option is to have it pumped out & cleaned, if at all possible poke a hole in the bottom, that stops it floating if there is excess rain. Fill it up with inert material, i.e muck dugout from installing the new one. The old tank will probably only be around 1000litres so it doesn't take much. If the tank is free standing, perhaps in a cellar, then after emptying & cleaning put some old clothes on and vent your frustration on it - smash it up and bury the remains outside.
Said blaudeix
How will we know when the inspector is coming so that we can have it all completed? We will be moving in next year permanently (right now trying to get a home loan) and so have no idea as to when it was inspected previously. It was unoccupied for 2 years. We can't afford a new system but can do the cleaning and pumping and adding bacteria.

Barbi

Siptea
87
Jul 2010
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by blaudeix • Fri 13 Aug 2010 18:59

The nice S.P.A.N.C. technician will drop you a linbe to arrange a meeting, don't worry about it, even if it's condemed they can't make you do anything about it (at present) and if you don't have the finances and since there's no grants, well, there are, somewhere buried and it take forever to complete the paperwork and then only if you live here permanently and then only a small percentage of the cost. In short slim chance!
If the property is your main residence then an interest free loan is available called the l'eco pret a taux zero, google it for more info.

Minimum size for a septic tank (fosse septique) is 3000 litres. All installations must conform to DTU64.1 The S.P.A.N.C. technician will verify this. A principle piece is a room without water larger than 7 metres square.
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blaudeix
163
Nov 2006
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Siptea • Sat 14 Aug 2010 10:27

The nice S.P.A.N.C. technician will drop you a linbe to arrange a meeting, don't worry about it, even if it's condemed they can't make you do anything about it (at present) and if you don't have the finances and since there's no grants, well, there are, somewhere buried and it take forever to complete the paperwork and then only if you live here permanently and then only a small percentage of the cost. In short slim chance!
If the property is your main residence then an interest free loan is available called the l'eco pret a taux zero, google it for more info.
Said blaudeix
Thank you for all of your help. My last question is can you give me a tip for locating the tank so I can have a look and see how bad it is?

Cheers

Barbi

Siptea
87
Jul 2010
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by blaudeix • Sat 14 Aug 2010 11:52

Your nose :)

or a steel bar with a blunt point, drop it point first on the ground (not too hard) and listen for hollow noises.

Minimum size for a septic tank (fosse septique) is 3000 litres. All installations must conform to DTU64.1 The S.P.A.N.C. technician will verify this. A principle piece is a room without water larger than 7 metres square.
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blaudeix
163
Nov 2006
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Siptea • Sat 14 Aug 2010 12:03

Your nose :)

or a steel bar with a blunt point, drop it point first on the ground (not too hard) and listen for hollow noises.
Said blaudeix
Hopefully it's not bad enough to smell yet ;)

Thanks for the info and private messages, we'll be in touch

Siptea
87
Jul 2010
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by edmoraz • Sat 14 Aug 2010 17:15

We have a receipt for our fosse, it went in in 1999. I know where it is but have no idea on inspection hatches etc.Its been a holiday home ever since with us buying it 3 years ago so I dont think it will need epmtying but do you think its too old to pass inspection?( I know the feeling well )

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edmoraz
488
Feb 2008
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by blaudeix • Sat 14 Aug 2010 19:50

The fosse will hardly have been overworked then! when spanc make an appointment to inspect don't bother emptying it, with luck & a sensible guy/gal they can probe the bottom of the tank and tell it's not more than half full with sludge.

Will it conform? should do but if the installer had been cutting corners to achieve a cheaper devis then it's very likely that inspection hatches were omitted. You will at least find one or 2 lids for the tank, other than that who knows. The norms say that the access points should remain accessible at all times. Some seem to think that access covers under 30cm of soil is protecting them... :roll:
One easy point to check - are there 2 pipes going above the roofline? one is ventilation and the other is extraction and they should be at least 10cm diameter. Officially they should be 40cm above the ridge of the building - but nobody wants to pay for the hire of a manitou to get it up there and luckily spanc are happy as long as it is going above the gutter.

Minimum size for a septic tank (fosse septique) is 3000 litres. All installations must conform to DTU64.1 The S.P.A.N.C. technician will verify this. A principle piece is a room without water larger than 7 metres square.
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blaudeix
163
Nov 2006
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by edmoraz • Sat 14 Aug 2010 22:22

We have one pipe above the gutter line that I can remember. I will have a poke around and see if the inspection covers are under years of leaf debris. Thanks for your help.
Ange

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edmoraz
488
Feb 2008
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Lynn • Fri 20 Aug 2010 16:38

Our fosse is about a metre underground, we found what we thought was it but turned out to be the regarde, when my husband started to disappear into 'mud' one day when digging in the garden. We had previously dug a trench from where the waste pipes went into the ground and found the rough area of it that way.
We now have put extra layers of concrete tubes on top of both the fosse and the regarde which we got from the builder's merchant so we don't have to dig for it again!
Good luck!

Lynn
321
Apr 2008
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by virtdave • Tue 30 Aug 2011 02:39

Last summer our old-fashioned system--fosse + bac à graisse + puisard (drywell in the USA, soakaway in the UK) finally gave up, and we had a new system with a righteous leach field installed over the winter. The old system didn't have a vent riser pipe, but current norms require one, and one was indeed installed just at the fosse septique, extending just above the house's eaves. The gurgling and annoying blocking-up of the old system is solved, but there's a bit of parfum de fosse when the wind is from certain directions. I thought about just extending the upper outlet of the vent pipe by a meter, but that might expose it to breakage in high winds--and would also require accessing the pipe's cap, about ten meters up. A friend suggested one of these cartridges, which it looks like I could winkle in to the vent pipe, perhaps with a few fittings, at a safer few feet above ground level. Has anyone used one of these?

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virtdave
1129
Sep 2008
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Dave • Tue 30 Aug 2011 12:45

I've got a vent pipe which goes just above the roof line and in the 10+ years it's been installed I've never got a bum whiff from it - I guess I may be lucky. :)

€49 seems like a lot for a air-freshener - it may be better to treat your fosse instead with a product that encourages the bacteria that break down the waste (I got something from the supermarket in a box that was a series of treatments in powder form that you pour into the toilet and flush). Better to treat the cause and not the symptoms.

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Dave
Administrator
1451
Aug 2004
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by virtdave • Tue 30 Aug 2011 13:06

Yep, it does seem a bit pricey. I googled the problem and extending the vent pipe was mentioned by some folks, but it's so high up that access would be a hassle (and it would be subject to breakage in high winds), and the filter can easily be installed at ground level. I've already tried the product you mention (Eparcyl is one formulation) and it doesn't completely solve the problem. I chatted up several plumbers about it, and the professional consensus (both in the USA, where I also have a completely trouble-fee, tho complicated, system, and in France) seems to be that it's a good idea to flush a package or two of the product down the loo when arriving after a prolonged absence, but regular use is not too important. I did go ahead and order the filter, and will post on this thread with results in a while.

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virtdave
1129
Sep 2008
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by blaudeix • Tue 30 Aug 2011 21:00

What you should have in a current, to the norms system, is a 100mm pipe above roof line with a mushroom on it where this is at the end of the pipework upstream of any WC. Then there is the extractor that is connected after the fosse, also in 100mm pipe and should be higher and more exposed to the wind. (see attached if it attaches)
You cannot use an air admittance valve, durgo, in place of a mushroom.
The principle is that air is extracted from the, er, extractor and at the same time air enters the mushroom, as this air goes through the pipes it passes over the fosse & takes any odours up where the air is clear (I feel a song coming on).
If you only have one then the air can't flow freely, if you have both then putting something on the the end is restricting or stopping the flow & the positioning of the extractor needs to be improved.

ex-stat.jpg

Minimum size for a septic tank (fosse septique) is 3000 litres. All installations must conform to DTU64.1 The S.P.A.N.C. technician will verify this. A principle piece is a room without water larger than 7 metres square.
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blaudeix
163
Nov 2006
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by virtdave • Sun 04 Sep 2011 10:31

I did install the carbon cartridge a few days ago, and it seems to work fine. I called the manufacturer and was referred to the internet site Limeco--the package arrived quickly, and I ordered also the 'pack manchons' at the rather inflated price of 10 euros (which made shipping free) as well as the 'cartouche filtre', for 48 euros. Installation was simple--most standpipes in France seem to be 10cm in diameter, as was mine, and I just cut out the recommended 21 cm a few feet above the ground, slipped on a standard 10 cm manchon (coupling) on the lower end of the pipe, then a sliding coupling onto the upper end. Then slipped the cartridge into the lower coupling, and finally slid the upper coupling down onto the cartridge....
Formerly, especially in the humid and still weather we've been having for a few days, there was a mild but definite and unpleasant odor outside our house which has been eliminated. The cartridge is supposed to last four years. We'll see. Our septic system is (I'm pretty positive) up to recent standards since we had it installed last winter, and checked by the local Véolia technician. Though the extractor on the top of the standpipe mentioned above does extend above the roofline, it may not be quite high enough to catch the breeze, and my ladder isn't quite high enough to safely access it to add height.

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virtdave
1129
Sep 2008
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by beetle • Thu 26 Apr 2012 16:27

By all accounts the winter of 2011/12 recorded the lowest ever temperature of -23C for our part of the Creuse.
Arriving in the Spring going through the usual procedure of refilling the water system, all seemed well until I flushed the toilet! We had a small amount of water on the floor?
Inspection of the toilet revealed a triangular crack within the toilet U-bend. On touching it the porcelain fell onto the floor along with the remaining water.
There followed after this revelation the problems of sourcing a new toilet (original design no longer in manufacture),flexible pipe long enough with correct connections (water supply tap to cistern)and most diffcult of all the 90 degree connecting pipe (toilet to waste pipe),we found in our wanderings four different design's and only at the last port of call did they have what we wanted SO DESPERATELY.
It was very windy outside and you could feel the draught comming up the waste pipe, sans toilet. So that must be why the water in the U-bent came to freeze-up: backdraft from the tank vent.
Next time we leave in the winter, I will add sponging out the U-bend water.
You live and learn

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
beetle
147
Dec 2007
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by Sevy • Thu 26 Apr 2012 20:03

Hi Beetle

Our neighbour suggested putting a load of salt down the toilet when you lock up for the winter to stop the water freezing. If you drain the U Bend you will end up with an awfull smell in the house!
Sevy

Sevy
73
Mar 2007
Re: Fosse Septique - its management?
by blaudeix • Thu 26 Apr 2012 20:44

ah, yes, but I believe salt water only goes down to minus 6,

I know people that use anti freeze.. how it affects the fosse I'm not sure but I'd hazard a guess that a couple of litres of that can't be any worse that bleach.

Minimum size for a septic tank (fosse septique) is 3000 litres. All installations must conform to DTU64.1 The S.P.A.N.C. technician will verify this. A principle piece is a room without water larger than 7 metres square.
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blaudeix
163
Nov 2006
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