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The original item was published from 4/10/2023 9:46:00 AM to 10/7/2023 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: April 6, 2023

[ARCHIVED] City to use smoke testing to check for sewer system defects

White smoke rises from a sidewalk

PHOTO #1: Harmless smoke will pass through the City’s sanitary sewer system as RJN Group begins testing for defects in the system. Photo provided by RJN Group.

The City of Victoria has hired RJN Group to use smoke to test for defects in the City’s sanitary sewer system as part of an effort to prevent stormwater from entering the sanitary sewer system and causing overflows.

During heavy rainfall, stormwater can enter a sanitary sewer system through cracks or openings, which can cause an overflow. To address this, the City is conducting an inflow and infiltration study to identify problem areas and prioritize repairs.

What to expect

White smoke rises from the base of a homePHOTO #2: During smoke testing, harmless smoke will exit through vent pipes on the roofs of homes and through sewer line breaks. Smoke may also enter the home if the home’s private plumbing is defective or if drain traps are dry. Photo provided by RJN Group.

Crews will allow harmless smoke to pass through sewer lines to locate breaks and defects.

Smoke testing will begin next week in areas that were identified as a priority during the preliminary phases of the study. The testing will continue through the summer.

RJN will use door hangers to notify residents when testing is about to start in their neighborhoods. Once notices are issued, testing will take place within the next two weeks, weather permitting.

RJN will access the sewer system through public manholes located in the street or in utility easements. If crews need to access a fenced backyard, RJN will personally notify the resident in advance.

During the testing, smoke will exit through vent pipes on the roofs of homes and through sewer line breaks. Smoke may also enter the home if the home’s private plumbing is defective or if drain traps are dry.

Do not call the City if you see smoke in your home or in public utility areas. The smoke is not dangerous. It is non-toxic, leaves no residue and does not pose a fire hazard.

Residents who have seldom-used drains can pour a gallon of water into the drain to fill the drain trap and prevent smoke from entering. Residents with seldom-used toilets should flush them.

Map of areas that will be tested

Areas that will be tested are shown in orange. Utility easements are shown in yellow.

Learn more

For more information about smoke testing, visit www.rjn.com/smoke-testing-faq.

For questions about smoke testing in Victoria, contact RJN Group Project Coordinator Joseph Colley at 972-437-4300.

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