My partner and I live in southern Brittany near the sea and have noticed peculiar happenings in our toilet.
Living with a fosse septique is something we have got used to.
We know there is a huge tank under the garden processing our household sewage and water but tend to forget that it only works well within limits. We notice the odd whiff but nothing nasty.
We have also experienced some back pressure when the tides are high and we have a lot of rain. However, nothing prepared us for the problem we have seen so far this winter, with storms crashing in from the Bay of Biscay bringing with them heavy rain, which has flooded the garden.
Pulling the chain, or pressing the button as we do in France, creates an eerie gurgling sound, then a whooshing, followed by the frightening spectacle of waste rising up the bowl, threatening to overflow.
Checking with the experts, taking into consideration our location and the bad weather, we should expect these things, especially when experiencing a storm, a full moon and high tide combined.
The last comment took me aback. The high tide? Full moon? Are we now expected to check the tide tables and the cycles of the moon whenever we go to the loo? To have our daily routines upset by weather, the moon and tidal considerations is, to say the least, uncomfortable.
Richard BARRON, by email
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