Fosse septique actually in the house!

A property I looked at as a potential investment a year and a bit ago is back on the market, cheap as chips even if you budget for a bit of roofing work and renovation.

EXCEPT that the fosse septique is actually inside the house. I’ve never seen this before!

Installing a new one would be difficult; there’s a tiny courtyard, two walls of which are the walls of neighbouring houses, two of which belong to the house. It’s a village centre location.

I’m wondering whether there is any solution that would work. The village doesn’t have mains drainage and nor do any of the nearby communes; I don’t want to bet on it arriving any time soon.

Hi Andrea…

Firstly, I reckon you need to figure out where “it” all goes… there are 2 Options: an outflow for the liquid, leaving a mass to be pumped away on a regular basis… if there is NOT an exit for the liquid… you will need to pump out more frequently (obviously).

We bought a tiny house with just that sort of set up…the liquid eventually went into ancient storm drains… and the “sediment” in the plastic cuve was cleaned-out every so often… (so we were told)…

Fortunately, we never had a problem as the house was hardly used… and, anyway, Mains Drainage came to the village in 2012…

Stella, your fragrant use of “mass” and “liquid” in discussing what swirls under the kitchen floor in the en-suite fosse septique was so dreamy, sweet and thoughtful as one contemplated lunch :hatched_chick::bouquet::leaves::hugs::joy:

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We were on a Fosse system in UK… and I had to “get to grips” with all that fragrant stuff… my best present during those years… was a set of drain rods… :relaxed: but we left them behind… :upside_down_face::neutral_face:

A propos kitchens, Stella, I asked a little while back about French folk I know who always drink their coffee by spooning it into their mouths from a tiny cup. When there’s just a small mouthful left they may lift the cup to finish it off. They always complete the ritual by putting the spoon in the empty cup.

Is this practice widespread, a local thing, or a secret sign like the Freemason’s handshake? :v::grin:

PS asking you’ cos you’re the go-to person on quaint goings-on in France, for me at least… :grin:

Mmm… not seen the spoon thingy… but I’ve seen some of our lovely neighbours put the “knife in the mouth” with some food on it of course… an absolute no-no when I was a lass. :upside_down_face:

Having said that… when the knife is covered with something delicious and there is no more bread or whatever…:thinking: I have succumbed to temptation on the odd occasion (discretely of course) :relaxed::roll_eyes:

I would never behave like that if other Brits were around…


Thanks, Stella, I knew I could rely on you to shine a light on the matter. No-one else has responded yet, and I find little details like this intriguing and delightful about France. There’s always something new to learn. I found out recently that the reason exercise books are printed with squares is because all children have to form their letters in a standard French way, and the squares help them do this. Fascinating (it was on France24 TV). A certain amount of uniformity helps to develop civic consciousness, common courtesy and a feeling of equality, I think.

I’ve noticed recently that in La Poste the fonctionnaires insist that letters à l’étranger be addressed in French so that England or UK is unacceptable, the country must be rendered in the national language. Good thing too, IMO.

Peter, we like to learn from our neighbours in their little ways as well as their phrases… and OH has been known to walk down the road in his slippers, says it makes him feel very French :upside_down_face: our neighbours are so friendly… life is great

When I have coffee with the neighbours they don’t use spoons but drink out of bowls

That’s useful… a bowl means you can use two hands… so much better than one…

especially if the cup/mug handle is one of those stupid tiny, round thingies that I cannot get a good grip on… grrrrr

In the small market of Minchinhampton there were several houses which were on what were called lissons.
These were cracks which went down into the earth and all the waste disappeared down them.
My friend luved in a large stone house on the main street and they had this waste disposal system.

The waste disposal system described at Minchinhampton calls to mind the street cry “gardyloo” that announced to passers-by the imminent emptying an overrnight chamber-pot from an upstairs window onto their heads, spoiling their powdered wigs.

Such romantic times :scream::cold_sweat::nauseated_face:

Yes, such houses still do… exist. :upside_down_face:

However, at the point of Sale/Purchase… other means are now being identified and (mostly) insisted upon. :relaxed:

I do have a splendid 17th century toilet in my house in Limousin, corbelled out over what was the farm courtyard. I suppose they were thinking that humans and cattle turn out roughly the same sort of stuff, so the muckpile for one was the muckpile for t’other, too.

Reminds me, the masonry needs a bit of attention before winter sets in!

:upside_down_face::wink::roll_eyes: do you get troubled by flies in Summer… ??? :open_mouth::zipper_mouth_face:

Benayes got mains drainage two years ago.

But we still don’t have house numbers!

Neither do we…no house names, no numbers, no road names…

but “house numbers” are coming… all properties across France will be identifiable so that emergency services etc etc can find where they are heading for in the quickest possible time…

Oh… and then the Delivery folk will have no excuse for saying they couldn’t find my house… :relaxed::laughing::roll_eyes::roll_eyes::open_mouth:

When we bought our property there was Saniflo loo in what became our gite which went into the barn and then via channel into the field.
Next door only put a proper loo into the house when the mother became too ill to go in the barn.

Andrea. Fosse Sceptique! The following true personal experience might highlight why best left firmly alone. Bought small village house on basis of a " survey" , full verbal and published agents details that there was a working fosse. - soon found it was actually only a large concrete chamber - no outlet, 2 people = 1 €50 / emptying 10 days. Went to court with legal expert - lost case! Small courtyard so 5 metre rule precluded new system - house lost. – could not give it away. Always now tell buyers - land is so cheap - in some communes ( depending of course where) get efficient new house built or delivered on a lorry! - fully compliant fosse, 10 year warranty - then enjoy France.


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