The Importance of Sewer Smoke Testing

Regularly smoke testing sewer systems is essential to locating and identifying leaks. A sewer smoke test is also an effective way to determine the source of stormwater infiltration problems. This helps to avoid any environmental or property damages that may occur when the city’s sewer system is overwhelmed by stormwater. When there is a flood due to heavy rain, water within the sewer system can overflow and flood homes and other structures.

How a Smoke Test Works

Sewer and water contractors blow a non-toxic smoke into manholes. The smoke is approved by the MSDSs Public Health Agency. It’s very important that the smoke be non-toxic because sometimes it can enter the homes of residents. As professionals blow the smoke into manholes using a blower, the smoke enters all the connected pipes in the sewer, which helps locate the source of pipe leaks, cracks, broken manholes, and more. Smoke testing can also help uncover unknown sections of pipe where professionals may not have realized were connected to the sewer.

Duties of Sewer and Water Contractors

As a sewer and water contractor, you must prepare local residents for the possible outcomes of sewer smoke testing. They should know:

  • Why smoke testing is necessary and how it works
  • When you plan to perform the test
  • What can happen as a result of smoke testing

Residents should know what to expect during a smoke test such as smoke possibly coming out of a basement floor drain or even the eaves of a neighbor’s house. If there are any issues with a resident’s home that the smoke test uncovers, it is your duty to inform them and give them instructions on how to fix such issues by a given deadline.

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The sewer system is an essential part of a city’s infrastructure. Proper testing is key to ensure every part of the system is in working order.