Fosse septique

I have a concrete fosse and am thinking about replacing it, cos of new regs and because it smells when you’re in it’s viscinity!

It isn’t buried completely underground, more covered by earth because it’s at the side of a two level house. I am wondering how these are removed? We’re they built-in or delivered on a lorry, the former would be a nightmare to remove, I would think?

Also, is a leech field mandatory or can the exit go to the road ditch. Only I hear the exit water in modern tanks is good to drink?

Is a degreaser mandatory?

Keith Lacey:- you kindly sent an email with a diagram of the new system regs, but I’m using a smartphone and cannot find it! I can remember the bit about the two vent pipes, before the tank and after it, but that’s about it…

Did you see the discussion Debra Archer put up and is still running? 'Non conforming fosse. Had the report - what next?' that you will find @ It has a lot of info that might help you, albeit David has said most of what you need to know. Also, on the Useful Links pages you will find a load of good stuff. We have a similar quandary although a plastic rather than concrete fosse that is definitely not conform and that sooner or later we must replace or shall be forced to replace.

Seeing as nobody else seems to be bothered to reply to you Tony here's my heads up.

First your existing fosse septique. if you've bought your house recently then the conformity of the fosse should have been remarked in the papers relating to the purchase. If there was no refence to a non conforming fosse then you are in the clear.

However we all know that this may not represent a satisfactory solution for you because even conforming fosse can pong from time to time especially if they have not beeen used for some time

If you want to chase this up then your first port of call is your local SPANC or service publique d'assainissement non collectif. Your mairie will tell you who in your area holds this brief. SPANC will come along at your request and examine your existing system. They will also come along over the next eighteen months whether you ask them or not to examine your system.

Your existing fosse should be of the right size basically 3000 litres per two bedrooms is the norme. Then they take account of the leach field and the permeability of the local soil. Don't be put off by this because it is an inexact science and your local maire has probably umpteen results for this measure and will no doubt say that SPANC gets it wrong more often than not.

Reading your previous posts I assume that you are going to spend most of your time here in which case you should probably go for a system like this

This will produce an effluent that you can disharge into a ditch bordering your property or into an appropriately sized leach field

If you are going to be absent for a substantial part of the year then the SPANC are not very keen on pumped /oxygenating systems because they rely on a continuing supply of electicity.

As to the old fosse it would be unusual to find a fosse septique built en situ. The vast majority are preformed concrete tanks. You woud have the choice of hoiking them our via JCB or more sensibly diverting your rainwater from the roof into the now defunct fosse septique buying a submersible pump and using the contents to irrigate the garden. However the SPANC will ask about rain water in which case it is rejeter sur la terrain/parcelle.

The alternative is to fill the existing fosse septique once redundant with sand thus preventing the possibility of anyone particularly a child drowning in a flooded fosse.

By the way all fosses septiques can pong from time to time particularly if unused for several months and also when they've been cleared out.See how things go.