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Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

I'll try to be brief. We found a house we wanted to put an offer on, but the septic tank is (obviously) non-conforming. It is on a small triangle of land less than 5 metres in either direction of the house, the road and a neighbour's field, with an outbuilding between it and the road. Therefore we cannot replace it with a new one.

We contacted the estate agent who suggested a micro-station, but we have since found out that these are not authorised for a second home, which this would be for now.

We were given a list of contractors and I tried emailing 2 of them, who have not replied. I also emailed the Mairie, who did not reply. Eventually we were given the name of the guy who had signed the certificate as we were also worried about access to the septic tank. He allegedly told the vendor that he was confident access could be via the road, that a telehandler would be able to reach over to extract the old tank and insert a micro-station. There's that suggestion again!

The estate agent has tried to contact him but has been told that technicians do not tend to get back to people. She has suggested a micro-station (again) and said that some are able to be installed for second homes.

In the meantime I got hold of a guy from SPANC who told me that micro-stations are not authorised for second homes but that they are alternatives and his colleague would get back to me. That hasn't happened despite me chasing twice.

Now the agency are telling me that we will have to pay around 400-650 euros for a soil sample. We feel we are being pushed to do this without any real answers as to whether a solution is even possible.

We are at an impasse. My French is appalling by telephone so I am trying to do what I can online, but no contractor seems willing to reply to me. All we want is an idea of the best solution and the price. The agency has suggested digging up the road which we have balked at. We're considering withdrawing our interest which is a shame as it's a lovely house and ticks all the boxes.

It's in Orne. Does anyone know of any helpful contractors in this area? Or has anyone experienced similar issues that could give advice? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

Hello Sherlocked, and welcome to the forum.

I honestly think I would walk on by...

But perhaps someone will be along soon with some useful info.

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Re: Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

I know what you mean, it would be gutting to walk away. I find this which suggests a solution for second homes, but I would need to find out if it's suitable for the property we are looking at.

I don't mind paying out for a ground survey but would prefer an indication first, of whether there is a solution because otherwise we're just giving 600 euros away. The agency keep telling us that there is definitely a solution but they are not SPANC registered nor are they contractors. They are trying to sell a house.
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Re: Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

Why should you be paying for a soil sample? The Foss is non conforming so it would effect any purchaser.
Passivpool Energy "A++" rated Swimming Pools, the lowest running costs in the Universe.
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Re: Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

Walk (or maybe run)...and put it down to experience.

Really, don't go anywhere near that property. Too much stress.

I have said this before and I will say it again.........try to avoid houses that require a fosse.

If you do go for a house that requires a fosse, make sure it already conforms.

Otherwise you will give yourself an extra headache that you don't need.

P.s. The diagnostics report should tell if you can make the fosse conform or not !!!!

What nationality is the estate agent ? Methinks someone is taking you for a ride.

Welcome BTW.
ner ner nee ner ner!!
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Re: Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

Thank you!

The report suggests a micro-station.

We are looking at rural properties so most of them require a replacement. Even if we found one that had a new fosse, it needs checking every 4 years. We've not found a single rural property that is on the mains. Of the ones we looked at only one had a fosse that conformed and that conformity runs out in 2 years.

The estate agent is Belgium.
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Re: Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

Only go for a place where replacing the fosse is straightforward or already done or has a significantly lowered price to take account of any costs.
Expect problems with installers or advisers.
House agents only want to get money off you and will tell untruths or partial truths to get you to sign.
Walk away, IMNVHO.

Welcome to the forum by the way.
Ticking over, just about.
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Re: Fosse septique - we are at an impasse

Isn't everything about this telling you to walk away. Why out yourself through all the potential problems and costs. It doesn't make sense to me. I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

But, go ahead if you want, your choice but..........


“You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”
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