Pont Noir

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I'm going to be SPANCed
by dikdok • Mon 23 Jun 2014 21:37
This is a long tale, get yourself a glass of wine.

Bought the house 10 yrs ago, according to the estate agent's blurb it was on tout a l'egout. It wasn't till the signing chez le notaire that we learned there wasn't actually mains drainage in the village yet but it was due very soon; we were led to understand we had some form of "puits perdu" which would do instead of a fosse for the time being. incidentally we have no garden and no space for the soakaway system even if we had a fosse.
We had a friend living nearby who did a lot of the work on the house while we were in England. He got the local SPANC guy in, who apparently looked around, couldn't find anything, and said "It'll be OK, there must be a puits perdu somewhere" and left.

We then got a letter from the estate agent telling us he had found out that the previous owner had had the bathroom installed and that the neighbour had let her join her drain to his, and that this neighbour was willing to let us continue to share his drain until the commune provided the mains drainage. It turns out that this "drain" runs across his field and into a roadside ditch! Untreated.

Our house is only used for about 3 months per year and the neighbour is only there 2 or 3 times a year, and having inspected the ditch there's not a lot of "stuff" going into it, so we have let the situation continue assuming that it was only temporary. 5 years ago the commune started to put in mains drainage so we thought that was it; however after a quarter of the village was done the money ran out and nothing else has happened.
Now of course we've had the letter from THE (whoever they are) inviting us to a meeting to explain the "new" regulations and how everybody has to have their "installations" inspected.

Went to the meeting tonight. Probably understood about a fifth if it, but it's clear we are breaking every regulation in the book, but we really feel it's not all our fault. The guy from SPANC who "inspected" our drains was there but couldn't get to talk to him. Anyway, we've arranged a date for our inspection (should take all of 5 minutes!) after which the merde will hit the ventilateur and we will probably face a huge bill to conform, when we feel we've been let down bigtime ny the commune for not completing the drainage project we were promised when we bought the house.

Rant over.

Feel free to comment.
"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the great ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
Jun 2005
Re: I'm going to be SPANCed
by Dave • Thu 26 Jun 2014 14:31
Just tell the bloke that all you know is that you are connected to your neighbours drainage until the town system is installed. He'll look about a bit and then issue you with a certificate one way or the other and a bill for his time at something like €500 an hour. There's nothing to stress about.
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Aug 2004
Re: I'm going to be SPANCed
by dissid32 • Thu 26 Jun 2014 21:06
€500!! I would have thought that was enough to stress about. I believe there are thousands of people whose drainage doesn't conform, mine included. I think the only time it will come up will be when you go to sell the house. Maybe by then you'll have mains drainage. Maybe!!
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Feb 2006
Re: I'm going to be SPANCed
by Dave • Fri 27 Jun 2014 10:31
It will only cost you between €80 and €160 and it won't take more than 15 minutes I expect. You're right - many people will not conform. Many of those won't conform purely because they don't have the paperwork (like us) not because the actual system is duff. The whole thing is a bit of a con IMO and just a job creation scheme.

I believe that the whole of France is supposed to be connected to mains drainage by now. Politicians decided not to be so was a disgrace to the nation and vowed to make it so. That it would be ruinously expensive and was impractical in many rural areas didn't bother them much. The next week they were promising to give us all fibre optic broadband and it was left to others to work the hows.
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Aug 2004
Re: I'm going to be SPANCed
by virtdave • Fri 27 Jun 2014 12:13
The likelihood that a sewer mains will be installed where we are in St-Georges-Nigremont is zero. And it's not just France, our place in a remote part of California has a very similar issue--the bureaucracy which deals with it is no more helpful and efficient than are their colleagues here. A few years ago we finally had our dry well (which admittedly was rather a primitive solution to the sewage problem) replaced by a modern leach field--we had to have a percolation test officially performed. I asked the Véolia tech who did it if he'd ever seen any place in Creuse fail the test, and he admitted it just did not happen here. At our place in California, the soil is structural-grade adobe, and finding a place to install a leach field was a big challenge.....we finally had to install it uphill a ways, with a pressure-distribution system to pump the septic tank effluent up to it...so hey, you're lucky here.
When we bought the place here, there was no WC at all. Apparently, folks just went out in the field (not even an outhouse) and hung the necessary clean-up linen on tree branches, to be more or less washed by the rain. Rather a challenge in sub-zero weather.
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Sep 2008
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