Smoking-out problems: Sewer testing comes to northeast neighborhoods


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News release from the City of Fort Wayne:

Smoking-Out Problems: Sewer Testing Comes to Northeast Neighborhoods

(October 14, 2014) – Fort Wayne City Utilities will be “smoke testing” sewer lines in several northeast neighborhoods, beginning Thursday October 16, 2014. The area to be smoke tested is bounded by Evard Road to the north, St. Joe Road to the west, Sandridge Drive to the south and Haffner Drive to the east. (See attached map)

Smoke testing is a process that allows crews to find leaks and other problems that are contributing to sewer overflows.

During the procedure, a contractor working for City Utilities will blow smoke into manholes to test sections of sewer lines. If the smoke comes out of the sewer system it’s an indication that sewers may be cracked, have a bad joint or have another deficiency that causes it to leak.

The smoke being used is chemically-generated, but is non-toxic, non-staining, has no odor and creates no fire hazard. It will be white or grey in color.

Residents may see smoke coming out of manholes and inlets or out of the ground. Additionally, smoke may be seen coming from building gutters, downspouts or plumbing vents on roofs. Smoke should not enter any homes. If it does enter a home it could mean a drain tap is dry or that there is a plumbing defect. City Utilities suggests that property owners make sure that drain traps have water in them. For seldom used floor drains, it is suggested that homeowners pour a gallon of water into each drain.

If residents find smoke in their home they should exit the building and look for utility crews, who will be nearby conducting the tests. If residents are away and return home to find smoke in their home, they should call the 311 service center so that City Utilities can investigate the problem.

City Utilities has contracted with Hydromax USA to conduct the smoke testing. Crew members will have a clearly marked vehicle. The testing is expected to be completed within three weeks.


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