Everything You Need to Know About Individual Sanitation in France

Sanitation is the treatment of waste and feces to improve the general health of the environment. There are two main types of sanitation: collective and individual. If you opt for individual sanitation, you must treat the wastewater from your home. About to start? This article will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding the realization of a sanitation project.

Is It Possible to Freely Choose Individual Sanitation?

It is essential to know if your municipality authorizes individual sanitation, because you must be located in a non-collective sanitation zone to benefit from it. In other words, you may not have a choice. To know your situation, please consult the document concerning the sanitation zoning at the town hall.

What About Authorizations?

The agreement of the public service of non collective sanitation (SPANC) must be requested before starting the work. Its role is to validate and control the chosen system, monitor the installation, and make a diagnosis if you sell your property.

How to Choose the Right System?

You have the choice between traditional and approved systems. You must choose them according to the permeability of the soil, the number of rooms and their use, the available surface, the topography and the constraints of the plot. For conventional systems, it is now recommended to use an all-water tank to treat black and grey water.

How Does the Work Generally Proceed?

The traditional systems are the most commonly used to treat wastewater. There are generally three stages:


Before being treated by a system, household wastewater and black water are pre-treated in a device. The latter retains solids and grease and liquefies pollutants. In addition, it is equipped with a ventilation system to evacuate the gases generated by anaerobic fermentation (without oxygen). You must also acquire a grease trap, a prefilter, and a screen if necessary.

Treatment and disposal

The wastewater is treated with bacteria and oxygen. These bacteria develop either in a spreading bed (reconstituted soil), in coir, or fibers with a material suitable for bacteria. The water is then evacuated into the soil or a pipe to a watercourse through infiltration or an outlet.

What Maintenance Should Be Done and How Often?

The type of maintenance varies depending on the device used. You are also responsible for this maintenance, which is generally supervised by the SPANC:

  • All-water tank and septic tank: emptying every 4 years
  • The sanitation bamboo: cutting the bamboo every 4 years
  • The lagoon: mowing every year, cleaning every 5 years and cleaning every week
  • Planted filters: mowing and weeding every year, sludge removal every 10 years
  • Dry toilets: emptying and cleaning of receptacles at least every 5 days
  • Coco filter: emptying every 10 years
  • Sand filter and sewage bed: no maintenance

How Much Does the Individual Evacuation Cost?

Expect to pay several thousand euros. You can ask for a work credit from a financial institution to reduce your expenses. It is therefore imperative to ask for an estimate from a service provider specialized in sewage work to study your case better.

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