Latest information on Micro Station fosse


We are considering installing a micro station in a holiday home. Currently have old and leaky concrete fosse septique.

I have found only this thread about them, which is a little old.

Has anyone undertaken a recent investigation about these who could share outcomes? Anyone installed one recently?

(I have read somewhere that SPANC wont approve anything that requires electricity in a holiday home)

Thank you for any data or tips or guidance.


We have been through the whole process in the last year…here are three links to various posts that will hopefully help, including photos fyi.

Cost about 11500€ + 550€ for the Etude. The latter is given huge deference by SPANC and their technical partners, if our experience is anything to go by…ie if the Etude or it’s author says X, then SPANC will accept it as gospel…

Hope this might help…

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Yes, I investigated it for several years and decided against it. It all seemed too complicated and after a career in IT I avoid unnecessary complexity. I really didn’t want some other bloody thing to go wrong and have to be sorted out.

Last year we went for a replacement of our old large concrete fosse with a new even larger plastic one and new épandage etc. All now certified by SPANC. Total cost +/- 7k (and we live in an expensive neck of the woods) plus etude de sol and SPANC fees.

That’s us done for ten years at least. No electricity, no mechanical gubbins, no worries :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m completely with you on avoiding complexity (in my case after a career in an area noted for its love of complexity…tax). However we’ve never found MicroStations particularly demanding or complicated. I speak as someone who generally regards technology and all things mechanical as guilty till proved innocent. Beyond all reasonable doubt.

We installed a MicroStation in Essex back in 2008 and one here in Seine Maritime in 2022. Famous last words but (touching wood) we’ve very rarely had a problem with them.The Essex one was serviced and emptied once or twice a year (about £200pa) and on the rare occasions when there was a minor issue, the service team were there within an hour or two…

Our geology (too much clay) and size of garden (1500m2) here meant we couldn’t have the sort of fosse I believe you’ve installed, as per our Étude, so we went for the MicroStation option that we were very familiar with, and so far so good. Lawn has completely recovered from the earthworks, bar being partly dug up (again) to enable our neighbouring farmer to find a water pipe for his calves (as discussed ad nauseam in a recent separate thread).

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Thats terrific information @George1 . I am very grateful for the time and attention you have given to reply. Thank you.

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This the unit we were going to be supplying, made in the UK but full French accreditation.
Electricity was just for a small air pump John, its just helps the anaerobic bacteria. Its because of the air pump that 2nd homes cant/shouldnt have them due to long periods of inactivity.

Well worth highlighting that point… :slight_smile:

Yes, we were lucky and or plot (old restanques) was perfect for the épandage. otherwise we would have gone down the micro station route too.

I am ignorant about this - who provides the Étude?


SPANC will, if prodded, supply you with a list of accredited local specialists who will visit to carry out the Etude (in essence a soil survey). Thin holes are manually drilled in your garden,using an augur, to determine the type of fosse that can be accommodated, plus the size and dimensions required for drainage etc…

As stated elsewhere, once the details are in the Etude, it’s set in stone as far as SPANC are concerned, so if you have specific questions, make sure your specialist incorporates answers to them in the Etude. SPANC will simply refer to your own etude for answers to detailed technical questions you may ask them. Ensure also that the specialist listens to what you are really saying - ours was fairly determined to give us what he wanted to report on, and not deviate by including client specific issues!. In our case the Nou (the posh soakaway) was very close to an outbuilding and SPANC wanted to know whether there were foundations or not, to determine how close to it we could site the Nou. The specialist eventually agreed to state the answer in writing for the benefit of SPANC.

Cost @550€…

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Thanks again @George1 .

The inference is that a home permanently inhabited by a resident that is fitted with a micro station cannot subsequently be knowingly sold as a holiday home? Have I interpreted that correctly?

Ours is a holiday home so it sounds like we cannt have a micro station.

One of several reasons for considering renewing our old fosse is to create space in our garden. It appears that an original outlet pipe from the fosse became blocked so the house owners didnt unblock it but instead installed additional pipes which cover the garden so thoroughly there is no space for an in-ground pool.

Are there new types of fosse whose outlet pipework is ‘small’?

Thank you

To tidy this thread up. I have found great information here .

To summarise, SPANC will not approve of micro stations in vacation homes because they say they are not appropriate for intermittent operations, “unless otherwise stated on the approval notice”.

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