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Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

Smoke testing is a way to locate openings in the sewer system that allow rainwater runoff to enter and can cause inconvenient and expensive sanitary sewer backups. Air combined with non-toxic smoke is forced into the sewer lines to disclose the location of leaks and connections to storm water systems. Smoke can be seen coming up out of the ground where there are defects in the lines. Smoke testing also identifies roof drains, patio drains and footing drains that are connected to the sewer system.

2016 Smoke Testing 

Sanitary smoke testing for 2016 is complete as of Wednesday, October 26, 2016. The information gained during this study is used to improve the sewer system in keeping with state and federal regulations and the City would like to extend great thanks to all residents and businesses in the affected areas for your cooperation and patience during this project.

Information about future smoke testing studies in a particular area of the City will be posted to this page as it becomes available.  

What Residents and the Public Can Expect

Smoke will not enter buildings unless there is defective plumbing or drain traps that are dried up. It is expected – and normal – for smoke to come out of the sewer vent stack on the roof of a home during the test.

The smoke is non-toxic, creates no fire hazard, leaves no residue, dissipates quickly and is harmless, although those with respiratory issues may wish to take extra precautions such as leaving the home for a few hours until testing is complete. Door hanger notification cards are being distributed to those impacted immediately prior to testing, and the public can expect to see signs posted at intersections when crews are testing in that area.

Department of Public Utilities-Water