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Fosse Septique (way out in the country)


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We're way way out in the country on the side of a valley, so we're on the Fosse and quite happy with that.

Our place in the UK has a septic tank but it has a soakaway system (so its just a pump out every 24 months or so) whereas the place in Normandy seems to need to be pumped out as it has no soak away. Its an old system and I was wondering if there is any reason why I couldnt add a 2nd and 3rd stage through gravel and have a soak-away ?

We discovered that with the existing (separate) plumbing system the bath, sinks, kitchen and washing machine waste water (grey water) just ends up in our field about 20m away from the house in what seems to be a series of shallow gravel filled channels and disperses from these down hill towards the other fields and later the road.  Is this permitted or will I need to change it ?

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Sounds like it will be easy enough to put in a modern system, but I very much doubt if you could do it by modifying what you already have.

The current standard in France requires that all grey & black water go into a fosse toutes eaux (generally referred to as a 'fosse septique', but there's actually a difference) to separate out the solids, which get digested, and then the liquids pass on to be disposed of, preferably (in my opinion) by using a drainage field, which is a buried version of your drainage channels.

Try looking at this link.


There are also lots of old posts if you work back through this part of the forum. Finally, if your French is up to it try googling 'assainissement individuel'.


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