Dirty secret of a septic tank owner

Nick Inman charts the ups and downs of doing it himself in our regular column... here, he talks candidly about sanitary issues

When we were considering buying this old French farm, the last thing I thought to ask about was what happens when I flush the toilet.

In rural France, when you become a property-owner you often also become the manager of a private sewage treatment plant, normally called a septic tank (fosse septique).

This is hidden underground and inconspicuous. You are not supposed to notice it and until you take a look you don’t realise what a low-tech marvel you have.

If you are about to renovate a house that ...

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