Smoke testing is one of the most cost effective methods of locating breaks and defects in the sewer system (sewer mains, service laterals, cross or illegal connections). The smoke is an indication of inflow and infiltration that can enter a sewer system during a rain event and is not desirable. This reduces the capacity at the sewer plant, increases treatment costs and can lead to overburdening of the sanitary system, possibly leading to overflows.
DID YOU RECEIVE A NOTICE?
If you received a pink door tag indicating that your utility would be performing sewer smoke testing, there are things that you can do to prepare. Please consult our FAQ section for more information.
If you received a pink door tag notice indicating that RMS crews would be in your area performing sewer evaluation testing, there are some simple things that you can do to prepare.
What actions can I take prior to smoke testing?
Before we conduct the smoke test, pour water into your floor drains and into any unused sinks. This water in the trap creates a type of seal and blocks gases from rising up through the drain and into the home. This trap will also keep the smoke from entering your home also. A dry drain trap could be found in drains which are not used regularly and the water has evaporated. If you have any dogs, cats, birds or other pets that will be confined alone in the building during the test, it is recommended that you open or vent a window in case any smoke enters the building through a plumbing defect.
Please inform us if you have any of the following situations:
- A person who will be alone and is an invalid or sleeping during the test
- Any individuals with respiratory problems who will be in the building
- Elderly persons who will be alone and might be alarmed or confused if they see smoke.
YOU CAN REACH US AT 888-655-4085 if you have any concerns or questions prior to the smoke test. You can also leave an email to be contacted by visiting our CONTACT US page.
I see smoke inside my house, building or shed
If smoke should enter your building during the test, it probably means that there are defects in the plumbing that could allow DANGEROUS SEWER GAS to enter. Note the location of the smoke and call us at 888.655.4085 or 847.344.9276 to arrange a meeting with our inspector. Open doors and windows to ventilate any smoke that enters the building. Your police and fire departments have been notified of the testing in your area.
I see smoke in my yard
If you see smoke in the yard, that is the sign of a sewer defect and our inspection crews will be surveying the area during the test to note the defect and take pictures.
Is the smoke hazardous or harmful?
No. The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, non-staining, does not create a fire hazard and will dissipate in a few minutes.
HOW SMOKE TESTING WORKS
Blowers are placed in adjoining manholes and a non-toxic liquid smoke is forced through the blowers into the sanitary or storm sewer. Defects in the pipe or manhole structures will create a pathway for the smoke to escape thereby identifying the location of the defect.