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Hi

We are in the process of buying a house in Burgundy which has a septic tank.  We know that you should not use bleach but can anyone recommend suitable cleaning products which will not upset things. Someone has told us that a regular dose of Eparcyl should be added - is this right. Any advice on the maintenance of the tanks please.

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Yes, they were absolutely correct, Eparcyl will do the trick very well. You need to buy cleaning products that say "sans danger" for fosses septiques.No tampons,condoms,nappies etc must go down the loo,antibiotics kill the yeasty enzymes too so you might need to put more Eparcyl-type products down to compensate!  As long as everyone is sensible things should be OK

 

 

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Along the same lines can anyone give me the name of 1 - toilet paper and 2 washing powder/fabric softener which I can use which won't harm the fosse. I am renting our house out this summer and want to leave info for the guests on which toilet paper etc to buy.

It's getting a bit silly bringing loads of toilet roll, washing powder etc every time we visit and we won't be able to bring enough for the rest of our lives, when we move out permanently next year.

Also, could anyone shed some light on the siting of our septic tank, we were given the plans of the house, which was built 13 years ago and we've worked out where the septic tank is. But it's situated under the grass and there's no access hatch. Does this mean that our septic tank doesn't need draining, or do we have to dig up the grass every few years?

Lastly, our house was only ever used as a holiday home by the previous owners, so the fosse hasn't ever been used full time. When we were at the house last month with family we used Espartyl as directed and the day after that we then started to smell a funny smell (sulphery/stagnant water) from the utility room - which is next door to the toilet where I put down the Espartyl. We are not sure if this smell is coming from the underfloor pipework leading from the toilet to the fosse - although the floor is tiled and sealed. Or if it could be coming from the main electricity in point in the utility room, because although I know it sounds odd that electricity could smell! the smell is emanating from the area where the electricity point is.

Any suggestions/pointers would be gratefully received. 

Thanks

REM

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Rem, (like your music by the way) the best advice I can give is if you have a septic tank do not bring UK toilet roll with you. You could end up with one badly blocked loo.

Most of the toilet paper here has some indication as to whether it is fine for a septic tank. As will washing powder boxes, probably shown as how biodegradable it is.

Also, sometimes sockets can 'smell' if there is an electrical problem, sort of smells fishy.

 

 

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Thanks for your reply and for the pointer re toilet roll, you wouldn't have a 'brand name', sounds sad I know, but in advance of coming to France next weekend I am compiling a folder of info for guests renting our house and want to supply as much info as possible, so brand names would help enormously.

Having become a toilet roll spotter in my local Waitrose(!!!), I've found a toilet paper which is suitable for use in septic tanks, so only buy that.

Your comment re the smell of the electricity, I had thought this may be the situation, so will have to investigate with EDF.

 

Thanks

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I just buy the toilet rolls that are on offer that I know are OK. I don't buy a make as such. Can't think of a make.

I thought that they would do special toilet rolls in the UK. It is just that sometimes people bring over Andrex or some such thing and I am sure that septic tanks don' t like it.

Also I don't think my first contact would be the EDF if I had an electrical problem, I'm not even sure if they do domestic things. Maybe an electrician instead?

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Rem - you asked about the siting of your fosse septique. We went through this a couple of years ago when ours needed emptying. My guess is it will be under the nearest bit of land to the loo, not too far from the house. They found ours by using a scaffolding pole, pushing it down through the soil until it hit something solid. It was about three feet down - it needed an excavator to remove the soil. I expect yours will have a cover and one day may need emptying. I have no idea how often this happens - hopefully infrequently!
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I got a toilet duck, not sure what make, which was specially for fosses septiques and seems quite powerful. I just found it in the supermarket. I use Eparcyl too, which is supposed to help things rot! Otherwise I don't worry too much. I think the tank needs emptying regularly (after a couple of years or something?) but haven't got to that yet.
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