Connection to main sewage system

At last the main sewage system has been installed in our Commune.
We are hoping to connect up soon, however we’ve heard several stories of Brits being ‘fleeced’ for uneccessary work.
What kind of price should we be looking out for ? what needs to be done? (we have an old fosse with a bac a graise) the work would involve digging quite a long trench as the road connection point is quite a distance from the tank.
It appears that people have been taken for a ride by some installers and we’re keen to not be caught out by doing our homework first.
Any advice from people who’ve completed their installation would be helpful .
Many thanks

Your local council should explain what is going on and what is required by each householder. Ask their advice.

Doubtless there will be a main contractor, who will provide you with an outline of the work required (trench/pipework/hole through the wall/whatever)… and give the price. You can ask around for other quotes.

In my experience, Mains Sewerage/Drainage… is just that… no need for individuals to have bac a graisse etc. Your sewerage pipe should leave your dwelling and run directly to the Mains Drainage Sewer in the road.
How far from the road is your dwelling ???

(oh and each household had to have a stenchpipe installed - not difficult)

You might well have to link up the various outlets first of course (bathroom, kitchen, laundry room)… then one big pipe leaves your property and takes the lot off and away.

That is how it works in our commune. There is a huge bac a graisse where the waste water comes together before entering the reed beds…

Oh, and the obsolete fosses need emptying (by an approved firm) and filling in or removing… depending on the situation…

I’m sure others will chime in with their experiences…

Hi. We recently had our drains connected from the house to the new main system in our village. We asked neighbours which contractors they suggested, then asked for Devis (formal quotes which list the work agreed to be undertaken) from two, and chose the cheapest. We had an existing below floor septic tank (fosse septique existante) that they filled in, and a change of direction of about 90 degrees when emerging from the house. In retrospect I regret two things:

  1. not asking for sufficient small rodding eyes / inspection chambers (regard de visite) to be able to clear obstructions in both directions round the 90 degree bend. We have since had drains backing up in the house due to what I suspect was a hasty pour of concrete to make a joint between the drains in the house and the new drains, that has too rough a surface.
  2. not being there at the time they did the work in order to: keep an eye on it, take photos for later records, and intervene if it did not appear to be going as it should!

They charged 400 euros plus TVA for installation of a single inspection chamber - “Fourniture et mise en place d’un regard 40 X 40 clos par tampon fonte
I think UK rodding eyes are cheaper, and if I were to do this again, I would bring some out, and ask them to install them to connect to a “swept tee” on the drain run for rodding. … also, where I have needed inspection chambers inside the porch or house, then I have brought out double sealed UK cast iron covers and frames, to ensure there are no smells.

Have you spoken with the contractor who did the work - to explain the problems and have them corrected ??

Thanks Stella
Its on my list of things to do! I cleared the drain eventually and I
am now keeping an eye on it.

Can they be added retrospectively? Not as easy and not as cheap as during initial install but would offer peace of mind and convenience.

If the contractor has not done a proper job, he has insurance to cover bad workmanship and bad product… so go for it.

The main contractor for our Village Sewerage contract had to revisit several properties to sort out one or two things… and the Mairie were on his back for a couple of bad connections in the public sector as well…

Do contact your chap straight away.

Thanks, thats my plan, but breaking through the new concrete and
connecting in the added rodding points is much more work than putting
in enough in the first place… hence my warning!

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Reminds me of a time when the family was gathered to celebrate a Ruby Wedding…

We (the youngsters) ended up rodding from an upstairs toilet right down to the ground floor and beyond… much alcohol was consumed during and after that exciting activity… :rofl:

Thanks. Will do! Best wishes

So smutty! This makes me blush!

Ha ha… your mind !! It was somewhat unexpected, but just as well that we youngsters were there and able to help the Oldies…

My role was to dash up and down stairs to report on the progress of the rods… not that I was looking (that was a boy’s role) I was merely a messenger…

I’ve just realised that my words might seem a little sexist… if so, all I can say is thank goodness there were boys there to “look” at the various toilet fixings…:upside_down_face:

I have AGAIN spent my afternoon rodding drains, wielding the industrial siphon and buggering about with the fosse septique. I suspect some child has dropped a bit of lego or playmobil down a drain, 2 of my bathrooms are out of order :fearful:

Obv I am a man.


I did become an expert in drains and fosses when at our last house in UK… but that was of necessity not choice… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yes well not by choice here either.

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I’ve lived in several properties in uk not connected to the mains sewerage and never had a problem…

One piece of advice I remember vividly was if any problems were to arise then just to throw a sheeps carcass into it to restart it…

And…never to use bleach…

I had no idea how I might get hold of a sheep carcass but from that day on I have never used bleach whether living in a house on mains drainage or otherwise…

Whilst the over use of bleach would be bad, bleach breaks down very quickly. Many alternatives last longer and are worse. Even rinsing your mouth with mouthwash that flows into the septic. A sheep’s carcass, where will the bones go?

Helen: One boned sheep’s carcass please.
Butcher: ??!?? :confused:

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Sheeps carcass, maybe a bit large, but certainly the rats that our mutt kills from time to time go directly into the tank - and it’s definitely reduced the pong we used to get from the vent pipe.
We too would have put a rodding point inside the house if we’d realised the problems we would have with a right angle coming from the sink.
It took compressed air from the sink to clear it.
With a right angle that narrows and slows the flow from our sink (we have a fosse toutes eaux) grease, fat and oil (especially coconut oil which is solid at normal temperatures) are a complete no-no. Plates have to be wiped off before being washed.

I know this conversation is not about Mains Drainage, but still informative.

Surely it is possible to change/amend the pipework from your kitchen sink…???

and where is your grease trap situated…

Our local SPANC inspector has been insisting that folk have a grease trap in the ground, close to the house, through which all the kitchen waste-water trundles on its way to the person’s fosse… (wherever that might be) …

It has meant a slight amendment for those who did not have one, but worth it in the end…

No idea if this is standard procedure across France, but it is enforced in my area… if mains drainage is not available.