About septic tanks in France
Septic tanks, or ‘fosses septiques’, play a crucial role in the wastewater management system in rural areas of France. As a country known for its beautiful countryside and villages, it is important to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Throughout this article, we explain what there is to know about a septic tank in your French country home.
Knowing the rules and regulations
In France, septic tanks are the primary method of wastewater treatment for properties not connected to the mains sewage system. These tanks are typically installed underground and are responsible for treating and disposing of wastewater from toilets, showers, sinks… It is important to note that regulations regarding septic tanks in France have undergone changes in recent years.
One of the key requirements when installing a septic tank in France is obtaining the necessary permits. The process involves obtaining a soil study report (étude de sol) from a certified professional. This report assesses the soil’s capacity to treat wastewater and determines the appropriate type and size of the septic tank system. Additionally, a declaration of works (déclaration de travaux) must be submitted to the local Mairie.
The septic tank system must comply with specific standards and regulations. For example, the septic tank should be watertight and have a minimum capacity of 3,000 litres. In addition, it needs to be equipped with a ventilation system to prevent the build-up of harmful gases. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the efficient functioning of the system. Finally, these tanks should be pumped out every 4 to 8 years, depending on the number of occupants and usage.
How much does a septic tank installation cost?
The average cost of installing a new septic tank in France will vary depending on several factors. The size and type of the septic tank, the complexity of the installation and any requirements specific to the area. The complete installation of a traditional fosse septique can cost between €6,000-€8,000. However, it is essential to note that this is a general estimate, and prices can vary significantly. Obviously, a large property will require a bigger capacity, while a gîte business may require more than one.
About septic tank inspections in France
Inspections of septic tanks are required during property transactions in France. As part of the pre-purchase process, a diagnostic study (état des installations d’assainissement non collectif) must be conducted to evaluate the condition of the septic tank. This study aims to identify any potential issues that may require repair or replacement.
Proper maintenance and adherence to regulations are essential to avoid fines or legal issues. Non-compliance with septic tank regulations may result in penalties and even the refusal of a property sale.
To prevent fines or legal complications, it is crucial to maintain septic tanks properly and comply with the relevant regulations. Failure to adhere to these regulations can lead to penalties and, sometimes, can result in the rejection of a sale.
When looking for an artisan or specialist, check they are registered and have a valid SIRET number.