Fosse septique: paddleless…

I went to visit friends yesterday and, like most of rural France, they've been ordered to replace their fosse septique as it doesn't conform. The devis have come in around the 12,000€ mark and they simply don't have the loot. They've been informed that there's a grant of some 4,000€ that they can have towards it but they'd need to match it with cash - which they don't have.

Surely this must be e frequently recurring problem at the moment as I''m sure that many people will find themselves in this boat without the proverbial paddle.

So, what do they do? Someone out there in forum land must have an answer? If they tell the SPANK to stuff it or just ignore it, what can/will they do?

We bit the bullet chez nous and I bought the stuff and did the job myself but not everybody can do that. Also, I feel it's very unfair on rural properties whilst those in the towns mostly don't have the problem as it's down to the Mairie to get them connected.

Providing you involve SPANC from the beginning and tell them what you intend to do. They will approve/ or not, and advise accordingly. At least that is my experience. I found them very supportive and at the time my french was very limited. A few grunts here and there seems to work a treat ;o))

FYI Kent: I too find that quote excessive and my well qualify as an extreme "prix anglais" ........ Mine cost 3500 euros but I helped a lot.

Thanks for the info and the clarification, John, I'll pass it on.

Word of caution for DIYers. You will need a land survey carried out by a technician from the department so that proposed plans for the new fosse and drainage can be approved. Once installed a technician must sign off to say all has been installed correctly. Once done, the certificate has to be taken to the marie to be stamped.

If you do not get the right installation SPANC will just tell you to change it when they come to inspect, which they do every few years.

Also it is a requirement to have tanks emptied every four years.

The main concern is adequate treatment of the outflow of the fosse and where it drains ie not into water courses, wells or underground water used for extraction for Human use. I had a fosse replaced about 10 years ago for a tad under 6 000€. This included a 4m3 tank with prefilter and ventilation pipe, digging a filter bed filled with 40 tonnes of sand and 40 tonnes of pebbles, pipework and a 45metre land drain.

12K seems a lot unless you need something special like pumps and very large filter and drainage. Ask SPANC for recommended installers and see how quotes compare.

As for unfair. Properties usually cost more in towns and if you are connected to mains drainage, water bills are about double as they include sewage charge. Swings and roundabouts.

Thanks Keith, I'll pass that on to them.