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Smoke Testing to Begin September 29, 2015

Visu-Sewer field crews will be present throughout the Project Area conducting smoke testing of sewers.  Inspection crews working hours will be Monday through Friday 7am to 7pm.  The crews will notify residents at least 24 hours prior to testing in their area by placing flyers at their door.  

Sections of the sanitary sewer will be examined for sources of clearwater entry into the system. During the examination, a dense greyish/white smoke will be blown through the sewers from a manhole.  Smoke will then appear from any roof drains, catch basins or house vent stacks connected to the system.  In addition, the smoke may appear from cracks in the pavement above the sewer, from lawns, or around homes/business which have foundation drains connected to the sewer.  The appearance of smoke from house/building vent stacks is normal, and does not indicate a defect in the plumbing. Additionally, select segments of storm sewer will be included in the testing.

Smoke may also appear in basements by means of unused floor drains, disconnected or faulty plumbing fixtures, or any direct opening to the house lateral. To reduce this possibility, please pour a bucket of water down all floor drains, sinks or other plumbing fixtures.  This water will fill the plumbing trap and prevent the entry of smoke.

The smoke used for the tests is non-staining and will disappear rapidly without leaving a residual odor.  If smoke should appear in your building during the test, leave the building and contact a member of the survey team working your street. The smoke will dissipate quickly if a window or door is opened.

It takes only a few minutes to test an average city block, and it is not necessary for you to be home during the testing period.  


The smoke used in this program has been analyzed by a team of experts in the field of industrial hygiene, toxicology and medicine and has been proven harmless. Although harmless, the smoke may irritate nasal passages but irritation should disappear quickly after exposure has ended.  Those persons suffering from heart or lung diseases, such as emphysema, should attempt to avoid exposure as they would any other potential airborne irritant.