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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.

2017 Smoke Testing 

 The City of Naperville has contracted with RJN Group, Inc. of Wheaton, Illinois, to perform smoke testing beginning this June and is expected to be completed by mid-July. If you live in an area that will be impacted by smoke testing, you can expect to receive a notification letter in the mail during the month of April. Additional notification will be provided by door hanger cards 24 - 72 hours before the smoke testing is to start in your area and s­­­igns will be posted at highly visible intersections when the crews are testing. 

Work is scheduled to begin Monday, June 12 and last approximately 4 weeks.

View a map of the 2017 Smoke Test Area

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.

Timeline and Location

Work is scheduled to begin Monday, June 12 and last approximately 4 weeks. 

View a map of 2017 Smoke Test Area

What To Do if You See Smoke

You should always feel free to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. If you believe smoke is entering your home from smoke testing, simply open a window and the smoke will dissipate quickly. Also, notify the crew that is conducting the tests by contacting a member of the crew on the street or the RJN Field Crew Leader at 630-639-1914. If the RJN field crew is no longer in the area you may contact RJN Group’s office at 630-682-4700.

The smoke is non-toxic, creates no fire hazard, leaves no residue, dissipates quickly and is harmless; however, those with respiratory issues may wish to take extra precautions such as leaving the home for a few hours until testing is complete. 

Additional Information

Read our Smoke Testing Q&A for answers to frequently asked questions about smoke testing studies. 

Visit the RJN Group website for more information about smoke testing in Naperville.  

Department of Public Utilities-Water