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I am thinking of buying a property in a small village in Northern France that compries a house and a small "gite" type habitable building converted from an old outbuilding on the same plot.

The waste drainage for the house is connected to a septic tank system and appears all in order, however I cannot establish what happens to the waste water (toilet, bathroon & kitchen) from the small "gite".

I have asked the property negotiator attached to the notaires office the question twice, and am still no wiser. The questions/answers that were sent and received back (in English only) are as folllows:

Question:-  "Are the waste water pipes from the kitchen area, the bathroom,

and the W.C. within the small house all connected to the septic tank?"

Answer given:-
"For water from the small house, it

is a loss to clear."

We tried again a second time -

Question:- "We require clarification on the following - in the small house, where does waste water from the bathroom, kitchen and

toilet discharge to?  We do not

understand the answer given to this  question.  Again we ask does this waste go to the septic tank that

services the main house?  If not,

where does the water from bathroom, kitchen and WC  discharge to?  Does the small house have its own septic

tank in the garden? We need to fully understand this point.

Answer given:- "The main house is equipped with a septic tank, for the small house, it is a


Can any readers of the forum who understand French plumbing/ sanitary systems attempt to explain this answer.  We sent the questions in both English and French as translated by the computer. We thought the questions were incapable of being misunderstood, and even now I don't think for one minute the negotiator failed to understand what we were asking. The replies back were in English only, as set out above, and as far as I can tell explain nothing.

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Err - may be a bit worse than 'of doubtful legality' - if it was just a basin and shower going to a soakaway thats one thing - but without wishing to be overly graphic that will not work over a sustained period if a toilet is attached.

However depending on the layout all may not be lost. If it does go to a soakaway you need to fix it. You have 2 alternatives - install a second fosse - not as expensive as you might think - but will require permission, inspection, a biggish chunk of space.

The alternative is to install a device that liquidises and pumps the output - you can then lay a flexible and thin pipe undergroung to the main house fosse and there you go. This will depend on a number of things e.g. how far up hill you are going (you may need a more powerful foul water pump) how far you need to pump etc. - obviously that wouldn't work if you intend to sell the gite as a seperate entity but under normal circumstances should be fine.

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