Micro-stations d'epuration

Mini waste treatment plants or micro purification stations are a practical and cost effective alternative to the rather archaic ‘fosse septique’. There is less work to do to install them and their output is potentially less polluting than their traditional counterparts.

From an installation perspective their is much less disruption and groundworks required as there is no need for a soak-away or drainage bed.

Providing your local water authority has certified the model you intend to install they look like the way forward.

I can't put it off any longer, I will almost certainly be installing one this summer and I am looking for a supplier.

Have you installed one, are you happy with it? Where did you get it?

If you are a supplier, please feel free to discuss your products and offerings within the confines of this thread.

I have a five bedroom house and will be installing it myself so I need quotes for supply and delivery to my address near Dax.

Thanks Keith, I have sent you an email!


Hi Keith, can you point me in the direction of further info on the 8EH please?


Thanks Keith

I strongly recommend the EPARCO septic tank system which takes up less space than a micro plus a drainage field and requires minimum maintenance if you choose the zeolite volcanic rock filter media in the second tank.

I believe the costs are now around 7500 euros.

Look for an authorised installer in your area.

We've had one here since 2007. It has a horizontal impeller driven by an electric motor via a timeswitch. The bearings on the electric motor went last autumn, necessitating removal and re-manufacturing of the motor. The motor is suspended inside the airspace over the first tank, just above the warm, seething, frothing, activated first effluents. Other designs are available, but weren't so easily available when we bought ours. I would think that the aerator type with an external compressor may be more easily serviced, but may be more noisy.

We have built a new house and initially dug a huge hole in the rock preparing for the fosse septique. We then read about microstations on the internet and had one installed - as we went through the process the microstation we chose was still being approved for the Norm, which it got. Ours is a 3 bed house with only two living in and there was some disagreement to the size required - for 3 or 6 people! Anyway we were then left with a substantial area of "hole" and so turned it into a little cave with a staircase (not ladder) down into it! Our neighbours are using the natural ecological sand toilets, trickle beds etc. and another a fosse. Each their own round here (all on rock) - yet to be inspected though!

We had a microstation installed in 2013 as we aren't suitable for a fosse due stream placement on the land and not being able to cross this with dirty water. We haven't had any problems and our station is rated for 4 people full time and 6 part time. We had no probIems with SPANC's agents in our area ans they are positive about microstations. Our installer helped us with the process and sorted out the legal paperwork. I wrote about it on my blog and showed photo's of the process. http://lesfaulknersenfrance.blogspot.fr/2013/10/the-installation-of-microstation.html

Excellent Keith. I shall bookmark this and do as you say in the event...

We are awaiting local changes with the canton being enlarged to take in new bits, some of them from cantons with communes who do not allow micro-stations. We know that sooner or later we must change, indeed should have already. We are sort of shadowing friends who are about to have their fosse replaced, the thing having been cracked by a heavily loaded building materials delivery truck having driven over it. So no choice. They want a micro-station, everything else they have is newest technology and mostly 'alternative' such as non grid PV, ground source heating plus solar panels, and, and, and... They also have a relatively low budget of their own but the builder's merchant's insurance company have assured a large chunk of the initial outlay. They have applied for a micro-station and are waiting and waiting and waiting but it looks like the canton is stalling until all of the reorganisation begins to fall in place. Although cantons are the political unit, the communauté de communes is similarly restructured to match so that the whole game of what is allowed and not is being played out still. It appears as though this rather stupid political game is being played out in many places in France, so following Keith and Tim's respective advice go a step further by finding out what the situation is.

Good morning,

Whilst I completely agree with James - that the micro station is the way to go as far as individual drainage solutions go there are a few errors in his post.

DTU 64.1 states that unless there are extaordinary situations ,such as land which is completely clay or other substratas where infiltration of treated water is not possible ,then one must infiltrate the treated water on your own property.

There are formulas to work out the size of infiltration beds based on water throughput and soil type. Normally the infiltration bed to take treated water from a micro station is much smaller than the traditional epandage system which must have at least 60 metres of pipework .

The list of approved stations is published by the department of health nationally.

There are two distinct types of station and numerous variations within those catagories. Basically ones that can be used for houses in permanent occupation and those for holiday homes. The holiday home ones can be used for permanently occupied houses but not the other way around. The difference is normally that you need a permenant power supply to run the ones for permanent housing whereas if electricity is involved at all for the holiday home variety it will be to power a pump after the micro station and it therefore does not matter if the power goes off and no one is there because if nothing is going in to the system nothing needs to come out !

In most areas of France it will be necessary to have a soil test carried out and an installation design dossier submitted via the Mairie to SPANC ( or their local equivalent ) to get their approval of the proposals before installation begins. They will also need to visit site before the pipework/system is covered up to inspect it and ensure that the installation complies with the regulations and the manufacturers requirements. There is , obviously, a charge for their service.

There are areas of the country where soil tests etc are not required ( notably the Charente ) .
We recommend a number of manufacturers equipment but it all depends on the requirements of each individual site which one we go for.

We are an English Bureau d'Etudes en Assainissement based in Brittany - Armor Environnement , who carry out the site investigations , create the dossiers and submit them to the authorities on the client's behalf.

If we can be of help to anyone in need of new drainage please email us on : armorenv@sfr.fr

Hope this helps

Tim Bowman