Drain advice needed

our house purchase saga continues,we have had issues regarding shared drains with the property next door,the property is advertised as connected to mains drain but the fosse needs bypassing after numerous visits by our groundworker and agent and getting no further we opted for a camera survey
and the outcome is that there is a main drain running down the street but no manholes or connection points to tap into,we have been told that the drain is a combined sewer and the houses adjoined are connected to this,there are small covers outside the house on the footpath which have 100 mm pipes which lead to the main drain under the road,we have been told by our drain guy that the marie who was on site for the survey has said we can connect the new soil connection to this,my question is should we ask for this permission from the marie in writing to cover our backs in the future we understand that combined sewers are not the norm and it is possible that a new foul sewer could be installed in the road in the future,any advice would be welcome

In our street where all the houses front directly onto the highway (no front gardens), each house on the other side of the street has a small square metal cover on the footpath where the 100 mm outfall pipe from the house joins to the main drain. On our side of the street each property has a 200 mm ancient pipe connection into the cellar to which our internal waste pipes are connected.
To be honest, the usual rule of thumb in our village seems to be to find the nearest working sewer pipe and connect to that without worrying about ‘norms’ too much.

Probably a visit to the Mairie armed with some relevant photos would be a good idea. Additionally, you could also send them a letter of intent (with relevant photos and drawings) and then work on the basis that if they have not objected within a couple of months, then it is OK for you to go ahead. Keep a copy of your letter and make sure that you send it ‘Recommandee avec Avis de Reception’ so that you have proof of delivery. Do not be tempted to hand it in personally when you are passing the Mairie, as such deliveries are often ‘mislaid’ into the ‘too difficult’ bin and you will have no proof of delivery. Send it by post ‘Recommandee AR’ and they will have to take note of the content.

Thanks Robert,I will definitely go down the letter of intent route,our drain guy who is English has also said he would be applying for permissions etc as I think he has to warrant his work for us,it sounds very much like the same set up but no cellar pipework in ours,the cellar and wc are at the rear only so we have to relocate the wc to the front of the property the small lid on the footpath looks ceramic or stone and currently has a 40mm kitchen waste running into it I think this is how it is classed as connected ro mains? But looks like everything else including next door is going to the Fosse in our garden,I am typing this reply in my van at the Robert Hodge centre Skelmersdale which is our depot strange coincidence eh

Well, it would seem that you do have the 40mm connection to the mains sewer and so it would be technically correct to say that the house is connected to the main drain. Clearly it is stretching a point, though that is not something that is exactly unknown in the behaviour of Estate Agents.
The good thing is that the 40mm connection exists, as it should be possible to upgrade it to a 100mm outfall pipe without too much trouble.
Regarding the connection point cover outside which you describe as being either ceramic or stone, it would be good to check whether it has the same appearance as other such covers in the locality. Decades ago it was the fashion for some towns and villages to have specially made ‘bespoke’ drain connection point covers, and believe it or not, some of them are protected as being of historic importance these days. May well be a good idea to preserve the existing cover if at all possible.
By the way, have you had a SPANC inspection done ? They will be able to come up with a solution to your problem that will satisfy all the rules and regulations.
(SPANC = Le Service Public d’Assainissement Non Collectif)

Thanks Robert,I see your point re heritage,yes I did think the 40mm pipe scenario was tenable but as the previous owner has been paying the rates for a connected property I didn’t argue the toss,your correct about the connection being a positive as our drain guy has reiterated that its will be fine to upgrade this with a soil stack connection and rodding eye,he will get permission from the Marie and paperwork from spanc,I would prefer an external stack but don’t think we would get the ok for it,I have a picture of the cover and will try to upload it,just got to fight out the price reduction of the house with the owner now

Well at least that nice square cut, visible, stonework will make it much easier to put pipes through it than a rendered wall where you have no idea of the size or location of the stones within the wall itself.
If you do have an external stack pipe, then at least the bottom 8 feet of it needs to be of substantial steel or cast iron that will withstand the local drunks punching dents or cracks into it. It’s actually quite a problem in the vicinity of our village bar. You may have more luck getting permission for the external stack pipe if you specify something in cast-iron all the way up that will look like it has been there for donkeys years.
That connection cover looks as old as the hills. Has anyone lifted it to see what horrors may lurk beneath ?

We had a survey done at our expense and it sounds like the whole village had turned up,we couldn’t attend as over in the uk so we sent a drain contractor to assess the job as the survey was getting done,what they found was a single main drain running down the Street 2mtr deep and after inspection it was confirmed that a 100mm pipe is under the square which runs to the sewer in the street the Marie has said he can connect the stack to this
Our contractor has quoted for the job
Including a clean out of the pipe and fitment of a rodding eye,he did say it will be full of leaves debris etc,all in all the costs are rising and will be doing the internal work myself,this was described as a simple bypass of the Fosse by the estate agent,good job we got it checked out pre compromise

Hi this may not be relevant but just in case… We opted to have a new evacuation drain at the rear of our property so the drainage from the dependencies don’t have to go through the whole courtyard / Porte cocherè to the street. The Marie charged 1500 for the new connection in the alley to the existing Street drains and another 1000 which is for developmental work. The former was a required government charge that goes to the area and the latter an optional charge which goes to the Marie. Then of course there was the builders fees for doing the work!

Sorry for the late reply Claire,we did consider something similar as the two end properties are connected presumably at the side but didn’t want to go down that route,getting the neighbours permission and sharing drains etc,hopefully the job goes well leaving me to relocate the bathroom to the front of the house

at last we seem to be getting somewhere,the seller has accepted our new offer and the sister who owns next door has agreed to relinquish her right to use our drainage in return for a connection point to the main sewer,just need the compromise rewriting now and we can finally move to the next stage,seeing that sf members have been through similar is there anything else we should be concerned with as we progress to signing and paying the deposit,any advice would be welcomed