French poo

Garden Fosse installation 2

Today’s post was going to be either about French food, or French sewerage systems. (Or Christmas. But that was a distant third.)

As there has been a massive digger outside my window for the last few weeks creating a sewerage system, my mind has been unable to focus on much else. The result is that I have been swayed towards talking about poo, rather than food. Food will follow. I appreciate that usually it is the other way around. Sometimes convention has to be broken.

So what do I need to share with you about poo? Well, a fascinating part of living in the vaguely remote French countryside is that large scale plumbing, of the take your unmentionable waste away to be looked after in remote locations variety, isn’t universally available.

Instead, poo management is of the do-it-yourself variety.

Usually, this makes no difference to your day to day water based activities. Stuff still goes down the various holes, and magically disappears. Other than being careful not to pour chemicals that would upset the delicate balance of your garden’s waste recycling facility into your holes, the system is usually self managing.

Garden Fosse installation

Unfortunately, there is a small spanner in these otherwise seamless waterworks. French home based waste disposal technology appears to make gigantic technical strides on a regular basis. (I’m sure I could make some kind of joke here about regularity being important to a good digestive system, but it’s just not coming. I probably need more fibre or something.)

Couple these marvellous technological strides with the requirement that for a house to be sold in France, it must comply with the latest waste disposal laws, and what you end up with is an incredible ecosystem of people devoted to septic tank inspection, maintenance, and of course, installation.

When you buy a house in France, if the waste disposal system does not meet the ever changing legal standards, which it fairly inevitably won’t, you’re going to be getting a new one installed.

It makes no difference if your existing system works perfectly, and causes no problems whatsoever. The house cannot legally change hands unless an agreement to upgrade the system to the latest and greatest in poo disposal technology is in place.

What all of this means for me is that the property has spent the last couple of weeks having possibly the worlds most incredibly over-engineered waste disposal system put in place. We have now got no less than two actual septic tanks in place, not to mention a drainage bed that would happily have accommodated an Olympic size pool.

The garden, once a beautifully grassy environment, now resembles a post revellers Glastonbury. As illustrated below.

Garden state

Still, the good news is that we now have a system able to withstand no end of contributions. And fully up to date with the latest French advancements in the field of poo management. Beers all round.

And that’s that for today! If you’re interested in other poo based stories (it’s not like I have a lot)… why not take a look at my Top five scenic toilets of New Zealand post! Or if you’ve got a poo based story of your own to share.. hit up the comments! And Merry Christmas ;)




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