Of course I'm not compliant, I have a septic tank, "worries Michel, whose home is installed on the banks of the Marne. This retiree knows it: as the Olympics approach, everything must be done to lower the level of fecal matter in the river.
Owner in Noisy-le-Grand, he must therefore bring his wastewater network into compliance. "What do I do then?" says Michel (who did not want to give his name to AFP), in front of the employees of the territorial public establishment Grand Paris Grand Est, which brings together 14 municipalities in the east of Seine-Saint-Denis.
Since a 2021 law, the correct connection of wastewater, which must be separated from rainwater, is mandatory. If recent constructions are already up to standard, this is less the case for older houses.
Beyond the obligation, the focus is on these accelerated connections less than a year before the Paris Olympics and the promise of events (open water swimming and triathlon) in the Seine. Because to swim there, the river and its tributaries must be clean enough...
This Saturday, September 23, under the barnum installed between fishermen of the Marne and footballers of the weekend, Peggy Nargeot, head of the works and heritage management department, tries to answer with pedagogy the questions of the twenty owners who came to inquire, each with his requests: "How do I know if my network is compliant?"; "How much are the subsidies for the works?"; "Is it legal to force us to do so?"
In Seine-Saint-Denis, which is not the only department concerned, 10,200 private homes have been defined as priorities to reduce the rate of faeces in the Marne. The vast majority is located on the territory of Grand Paris Grand Est.
For its part, the EFA is to create 27 km of wastewater network (14 have been built). Once the work is done, owners are invited to connect to it. "I didn't want to but I made an appointment (to do the compliance diagnosis). If I do not take it, I have a formal notice, "plagues Dominique Roger, 62, before leaving by bike.
According to an official source familiar with the bathing plan, work on public networks and major structures has progressed well. Social landlords have also followed suit by connecting properly. Individuals remain the point of uncertainty. As of 1 September, just under 2000 were engaged in the process. To convince them, the arguments are mainly financial: in case of non-compliance, the penalties will amount to nearly 500 euros each year. Above all, incentive subsidies (temporary until the Olympics) have been allocated and go up to 6000 euros.
The total cost of the works is estimated on average at 7800 euros.
Letters, explanatory comics, information stands... For several months, awareness-raising initiatives have multiplied. Twelve students from the Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech located in Champs-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne), members of the Junior Enterprise Ponts études projets, participate in door-to-door missions.
Neon orange chasuble on their backs, Arthur and Quentin, in engineering master's degree, roam Noisy-le-Grand, with a list of addresses to canvass provided the day before by the EPT. "We go on the few percent who have not given sign of life," to the many solicitations, says Quentin Girard, 21.
Hello Madam, we come from Grand Paris Grand Est. Have you ever had an appointment with a service provider to do a compliance test on your wastewater network?" he asks, in a cheerful tone.
It's my husband who manages it, "answers from the balcony this resident.
I'll leave the contact in the mailbox," says Arthur Maury. He slips in passing: "If you are ever not compliant, you have up to 6000 euros in subsidies".
For these students, this field experience allows them to "learn to convince" with a range of financial, ecological, legal arguments... On Saturday, on the forty housing targeted, the students met many owners already up to standard, and faced some unreceptive, others absent. And they have already signed up for other Saturdays of canvassing.