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Wastewater treatment in France

Collective sanitation and non-collective sanitation systems are important for local elected officials for their environmental consequences. They often deal with these issues through intermunicipal structures.


Municipal sanitation: transfer of "water" and "sanitation" skills

The law of 7 August 2015 on the new territorial organization of the Republic (NOTRE Act) requires municipalities to transfer sanitation competence to a public inter-municipal cooperation organization or a large union by January 2020.

The law of 3 August 2018 on the implementation of the transfer of water and sanitation powers to the communities of municipalities provides for the latter to relax (the transfer may be postponed until 1 January 2026 in certain cases and also possibility of not transfer jurisdiction in some cases)


Municipality and non-collective sanitation

Concerning individual sewerage (sewerage network), before 31 December 2005 French communes had to set up a non-collective public sewerage service in charge of inspecting facilities. Inspections are undertaken either by checking the design and performance of facilities built or refurbished less than eight years ago, or by ensuring the remaining facilities operate and are serviced correctly, establishing, if necessary, a list of the necessary repair work.

The communes must also determine the date on which they inspect the non-collective sewerage facilities. The inspections had to be performed by 31 December 2012 at the latest and periodic monitoring should be in place once every 10 years. Lastly, they can set technical specifications, particularly for the soil survey or choice of treatment procedure, in order to set up or refurbish a non-collective sewerage system.

This control is required at the time of the sale of a building. It must be provided by the seller and dated less than 3 years at the time of signing the deed of sale. It is up to the purchaser to perform the work of upgrading taxed when the control operated by the SPANC.­

More informations : www.assainissement-non-collectif.developpement-durable.gouv.fr


Municipality and collective sanitation

Concerning collective sewerage (sewers), the French Public Health Code requires individuals to be connected within 2 years from the equipment implementation and allows individual controls of these connections.

However, despite the absence of legislation on the matter, many institutions inter responsible for this mission have established systematic control systems in case of sale­.


What is the French notaire's role in sanitation?

For all sales of buildings, the notaire must inform the buyer of the type of sewerage system.

He contacts the local authorities and seller to ensure a sewerage system exists and, if so, that it complies with standards.

The notaire also provides information on the consequences likely to result from any non-compliant systems. The notaire therefore acts as a reliable cornerstone for ensuring regulations are applied regarding environmental and sustainable development issues.