Sewer Smoke Testing to begin October 1st

| September 7, 2018



The City of Waseca has scheduled smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system for the month of October, beginning Monday, October 1, as weather and fall projects permit. City crews will be testing most of the sewers south of Eleventh Avenue NE and south of Eleventh Avenue NW. The reason for this testing is to help pinpoint where rain water is leaking into sewer pipes, which is called Inflow and Infiltration, or I&I. With this leak information, the City can prioritize which sewer pipes to repair first.

The testing involves using blowers to push smoke into the sanitary sewers through City manholes. This testing is not intended for individual home plumbing; it is a test of public and private sewer lines outside the home or building. In Waseca, each property owner does own the sewer service from the home or building to the City main. Sewer mains are usually located under the City streets and right of way, but some sewer services and City mains are located in backyards, alleys, and easements.

The white colored smoke used for testing is non-toxic without permanent odor, and soon disappears, leaving no trace. It is possible for the smoke to enter your home through faulty plumbing or dry traps in floor drains. Prior to October 1, please pour one (1) gallon of water into any seldom used drains to ensure the traps are not dry. 

If during this testing, smoke does enter your home, this may indicate a problem with your plumbing that would also allow sewer gas to enter. A properly plumbed property will have a vent pipe on the roof, which will release smoke during the testing.

City staff conducting the testing may cross yards to look around buildings to identify locations where smoke is escaping from the sewer system.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact the City of Waseca Utility Billing Department at 507-835-9718.

The Waseca Fire Department is aware of this City project so that test smoke is not misunderstood as fire smoke.

Notices are also provided on Facebook, the PEG Channel and Waseca County News and Shopper.

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