Breizh Poellrezh SF - Douarañ Santel
Breizh Poellrezh SF - Douarañ Santel

Fosse Septique - Micro-station d'Épuration

You might think this an odd topic to put on our website but we have had a visit from “SPANC” (Service Public d’Assainissement Non Collectif) to inspect our Fosse Septique - Micro-stations d'épuration to ensure we are not polluting the environment as new rules apply from the beginning of the year. Our inspection, by appointment, was courteous and polite with the engineers making a visual inspection and giving advice: 

  • They verify the access to the installation
  • Condition of the system. Is it leaking? Is it cracked?
  • Location of the system
  • Ventilation of the system
  • Volume of the system
  • Sludge level
  • Drain going to the filtration system
  • Nature of the soil
  • Proximity of water source, above and underground 
  • Filtration system

The engineer did not come to punish us, simply conducted a survey of our Fosse Septique - Micro-station d'Épuration installation to ascertain whether it conformed to current standards and to establish if it posed any risk to public health or to the environment and give advice as necessary. Just remember that around 20% of us have these systems as our primary source of waste treatment.

Needless to say, we passed with flying colours as we have the latest Micro-station d'Épuration. Others may not be as fortunate as some Fosse Septique are totally buried. By totally buried we mean, you can't see a trace of your septic tank, no access covers, nothing! If that is the case and they cannot take a look inside they will record your property as having no assainissement. So now is the time to find it, probably you have no idea where to start looking even though it is a very large object, so contact the previous owners, your neighbours, your local farmer, even your local immobilier – if all that fails – START DIGGING!!

If your Fosse Septique - Micro-stations d'Épuration is OK and they think your system is working correctly they will issue a “Diagnostic ANC” which stands for assainissement non collectif. If however your system does not function correctly or if it needs some modification the engineer will provide you with a report advising how it can be rectified. On the other hand if your system is considered to be an environmental or health risk they will insist you carry out remedial work to rectify your problems. Do not panic, you have two years to resolve your issues and you may qualify for financial assostance from DDAS or Pact Arim, if you have not done so in that period your Mairie can have the required work carried out and invoice you. 

There again it could be that the inspectors find that a number of properties close together have potential or actual pollution issues and will classify the area as a “Point Noir”, whereby they will make urgent efforts to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. 

Implication for Buying & Selling

Everyone should be aware that a drainage report is now compulsory on the sale of any residential property not connected to mains drainage. This report is the eighth compulsory report which must be produced and paid for by the seller. The report must be no more than three years old at the date of completion of the sale (i.e. the date of signature of the final sale and purchase deed in the notary’s office). 

If there is no valid drainage report, the seller must arrange to have a survey carried out and must provide the resulting report to either the agent or the notary so it can be annexed to the preliminary sale contract (the compromis de vente). As with the lead, asbestos, termite, gas and electricity surveys, in the absence of a valid drainage report the seller will remain liable for any hidden defects that may come to light after completion.

Sellers may also have to be prepared to renegotiate the sale price if the report reveals that the septic tank is obsolete or defective as the buyers will be required to carry out the replacement or upgrading of the tank within twelve months of completion of the purchase.

Alternatively, where it is revealed that an individual drainage system does not conform to current standards, the parties may agree to add a condition to the preliminary contract whereby the seller agrees to carry out the necessary work prior to completion.


If you are in a situation whereby your system need replacing, for whatever reason, we would suggest that you look at the Micro-station d'Épuration as we did when we extended our home, the installation required less disruption to your garden. Our unit is CE marked and type tested in Germany by PIA GmbH in accordance to NF EN12566-3, the new European standard covering wastewater treatment plants, making it fully compliant with European Regulations for waste water treatment. Installation, including diverting existing waste water pipes to the new unit was completed within a month with the soil and debris excavated being used to infill the old Fosse Septique after it had been emptied. The unit came with a comprehensive part and labour warranty and a life expectancy of twenty-five years. Needless to say we purchased the maintenance contract which means when it needs de-sludging we do not have to payout!!

We have included a basic sizing chart, drawings and photographs courtesy of Arti Construction SARL, Calavret, 56920 Noyal Pontivy. As a token of our appreciation of their work on our behalf we offer you this link: 


  Pure-Bio Diamond  1 Pure-Bio Diamond 2 Pure-Bio Diamond 3 Pure-Bio Diamond 4
Household 1 to 4 1 to 6 5 - 12 10 - 15
Max. average daily flow 800 litres 1200 litres 2400 litres 3000 litres
Max. BOD/day 240 gr 360 gr 720 gr 900 gr
In ground depth 2.25 metres 2.25 metres 2.74 metres 2.74 metres
Inlet invert 570 mm 570 mm 700 mm 700 mm
Outlet invert 670 mm 670 mm 800 mm 800 mm
Weight Empty 123 kilos 125 kilos 230 kilos 230 kios
Total Capacity 2270 litres 2700 litres 3975 litres 3975 litres
Power Consumption 60 watts 80 watts 140 watts 160 watts

Schematic drawings of the Mini Sewage Treatment Plant/ Micro Station d’Épuration

Schematic of space saved by installation of Mini Sewage Treatment Plant

Installation photographs

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