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Annual Sewer Smoke Testing Set to Begin

August 16, 2012

(Huntsville, AL) - ADS Environmental Services will be conducting sewer smoke testing during the next few weeks as part of their contract with the City of Huntsville Water Pollution Control Department.

Field crews will be smoke testing sanitary sewers located in South Huntsville in an area generally bounded to the north by Byrd Spring Road, to the south by Cameron Road and Lauderdale Road, to the east by Memorial Parkway, and to the west by Teal Drive and Logan Drive. ADS will distribute door hangers to residences and businesses located within the testing area to notify them of these activities.

What is smoke testing?

Smoke testing is a diagnostic test in which a non-toxic, non-staining smoke is blown into a portion of the sanitary sewer system. Smoke will then exit from defects in the system, so their locations can be flagged, photographed, and documented.

What is the benefit?

Smoke testing is one of the tools available to help identify areas where excessive storm water and groundwater may inadvertently enter the sanitary sewer system. This allows the City to identify where the sewer needs repair and/or rehabilitation, to restore lost capacity to the system, and to provide structural improvements to maintain the system in good working order.

Why does the public need to know?

Much of the sewer system is generally perceived as "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" by the public, and the same is true for most sewer inspection and testing activities. Smoke testing, however, can be a little more visible. Under normal circumstances, smoke from this testing will not enter homes or businesses. However, on occasion, smoke will enter a residence or business through defective plumbing or dry drain traps. Residents are provided additional information and contact information on door hangers that are distributed prior to smoke testing. Residents are advised to read and follow a few simple recommendations on these notifications to minimize any inconvenience. If smoke does enter a home or business, it will dissipate quickly once doors and windows are opened.


For more information, contact:
Region Engineer Kevin Enfinger at ADS at 256-430-3366.


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