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Beginning in July, crews will begin smoke testing the sanitary sewers for clear water cross connections throughout the City by blowing nontoxic smoke into the sewer system. This process can help the City locate spots where rainwater and other clear water sources can enter the sanitary sewer system causing sewer backups in basements and the waste water treatment plant to overflow.
Smoke testing crews from Hydro-Klean, Inc. have been contracted to perform the smoke testing operations. Low pressure non-toxic, harmless smoke will be blown through sanitary sewer pipes. The smoke used does not create a fire hazard or present a health hazard; it is white in color and has a very mild sulfur odor. During the smoke testing process workers will look for smoke coming from storm sewer structures and other potential clear water cross connections. Smoke should not enter residents’ homes unless there is defective plumbing or a malfunctioning “P” trap. Residents in the area being tested should fill seldom-used drains with water to restore the “P trap” and prevent smoke from entering the home.
City workers will notify residents before they begin working in their neighborhood by placing door hanger cards on their doors. The testing does not require the field crews to enter homes, and residents do not need to be home during the testing.
Questions or concerns regarding the smoke testing project should be directed to the City of Ashland Public Works Department at 715-682-7061.