What is the legislation affecting domestic properties?

There are several pieces of relevant and current legislation that affect domestic properties.

  • The first came into effect in January 1992 and stipulated that all household waste water must be processed in the correct manner, by means of a “fosse toutes eaux” (a septic tank that accepts all waste waters) and a filtration system.
  • The second came into effect in 2011 when it became a legal requirement to include a “fosse conformity certificate” in the legal package required when selling a house. This certificate, usually issued by SPANC, assesses the conformity of the existing sewage treatment system to prevailing laws and, in noting any defects found, makes both the vendor and potential purchaser aware of any remedial actions that are required.
  • Additionally, European Law then introduced the European Standard EN 12566-3 2005 for “Small waste water treatment systems for up to 50 PE (people equivalents)” and, subsequently it was ruled that by the end of 2012 all sewage treatment systems that discharge effluent directly into ditches or watercourses would be illegal, unless they conformed to this standard. The French, not to be outdone by Europe, added an additional criteria to this standard.

The outcome of these new legislations was that every individual sewage treatment system would, at one time or another, be inspected by SPANC to assess its’ conformity to the prevailing laws, and that all sewage treatment systems in France must conform to the French standard NF EN 12566-3+A1.