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Re: Plumbing problem - urgent !


Val_2

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When was your tank last emptied? It should be done regularly at least every four or five years because once it gets to a certain level it will stop working. With all the current rain it is possible it is not draining away properly hence the back up. I think you may have to investigate with a little digging and see what is going on or else call for a vidange of the tank if it has not been done for a few years. Soakaways do not work if the ground is too saturated and all the excess will eventually seep into the property. Don't forget also that you should de-grease the traps as this builds up quickly and very thick.
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You should have at least 1 manhole cover/inspection hatch. If you lift that then you should be able to see if the water is actually getting to the fosse. There will possibly be more than one. You need to look in each one if there is. It could well be a blockage along the pipe work.

If that is the case then one way of clearing it is to push a hose pipe, preferably a stiffish one, up towards the blockage with the water turned full on, but if you have a blockage and clear it then be prepaired to get a sudden rush of water out, probably quite dirty.

Good luck! Bin there, done that [:D]

Edit :- We are just about to look into one of our covers to see why we have a smell coming from our shower drain?

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After inspecting our pipes we found that a load of roots had grown through the manhole and had decided that it was a very good place and were growing up the pipe for the washbasins and causing a restriction in the lot! So now we hope that it is cured.

We knew that the fosse was not full because it was only emptied in the spring. All of the pipework was inspected and jetted, at the same time, from the kitchen to the fosse because we had had a problem there too.

That is why I would suspect yer pipes! They can block...

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Lift lids on inspection chambers if there is a blockage then it's likely better to have a smelly garden than a smelly house. Try conventional drain rods if you have any, it may be that the water table is that high that there's no place for the water to go in which case a dirty water pump and a ditch may be useful....I didn't of course suggest that one discharges effluent into ditches, that would be wrong.

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I am curious about the comments that "your fosse may be full".  It should be full.  It doesn't work as a receptacle to retain the outflow from sinks and toilets etc which is then emptied.  Legally fosse toutes eaux have to be emptied every four years but should then be replenished with fresh water.

This site, amongst others, has a good description of how it works.

http://www.frenchpropertysearch.com/french-property-useful-information-Septic-Tank-%E2%80%93-Fosse-Septique-info-92.aspx

Rather than the fosse itself being full it may be that the lit d'épandage (filter bed) is saturated either because of recent heavy rain or because it is not acting quickly enough due to the nature of the soil it is in (eg. heavy clay) or as Big Mac says re the water table. Which may be what is meant when saying "it is full"
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Puzzled,

Having read your post I can definitely advise you to get your fosse emptied. All your symtoms are the same as mine were, which were completely cured when the fosse was emptied.

If they are a reputable firm, the ones with a big tanker lorry, they will also clean out the whole system thoroughly with their hi-powered hose. One this has been done the problem will be solved and you will have nice clean hands when you write out your cheque for about Euros 200! (...and no more worries for many years!)

You know it makes sense!

 

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