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Posted on: July 13, 2021

Smoke Testing Scheduled To Begin

Soical Image Public Works Alert

smoke testing mapWhat is the Sanitary Sewer Investigation Project?
The Village is currently conducting flow monitoring, and will be conducting smoke testing in the neighborhood indicated on the map, July 21 - 23rd, weather & conditions pending. This project’s goal is to identify areas of “inflow,” or areas where groundwater can leak into the Village’s sewer system, making it less effective. This preventative work helps Public Works identify sources of inflow that need to be eliminated or significantly reduced. Sources of inflow may include broken manholes, uncapped lines, water main cracks, and illegal/improper connections including roof drains, down spouts, sump pumps, and yard drains. This process includes Flow Monitoring and Smoke Testing.

What is Flow Monitoring?
Flow monitoring reads and records the depth and rate of sewage flow to determine conditions of the Village’s sanitary sewer system. Using collected data, the Village can better identify and plan for necessary maintenance and improvements to the sanitary sewer system.

What is Smoke Testing?
 Smoke testing is the relatively simple process of blowing smoke mixed with air into the sanitary sewer line through a manhole. The smoke makes its way through the ground surface where workers can visually identify areas of concern. 

When will the Smoke Testing take place?
Testing is tentatively scheduled to take place the week of July 19th, depending on dry conditions and weather.  Signs will be posted in your neighborhood a day before the work occurs. Door hangers will also be placed on front entrances about 1 week before smoke testing begins. 

Who is doing the work?
The Village of Lombard has contracted with Baxter and Woodman of Crystal Lake. 

smoke testingWhat Can I Expect Regarding Smoke Testing?
Smoke testing is a procedure that has been widely and safely used for many years. The smoke is non-toxic, creates no fire hazard, leaves no residue, dissipates quickly, and is harmless. In most conditions, the smoke should not enter your home. If smoke appears indoors, the reason may be a floor drain or bathroom fixture trap has become dry due to lack of use, or because of defective sewer piping that allows sewer gases to directly enter your home. If, in the rare situation, smoke does enter your home, open some windows to dissipate the smoke, take children and pets outside, and contact the smoke testing crew that will be working nearby or call the number listed on the back of the door hanger.  

If you have seldom used sinks or floor drains, please pour one-half (1/2) gallon of water into each seldom used sink or drain to fill the trap.  This should prevent smoke from entering. A drain in the basement floor is a likely location where a dry drain trap may be found. You may have to consult with a licensed plumber if a potential problem exists within your residence.

While this process is generally non-invasive, if you have someone in your home has respiratory problems, you may wish to take extra precautions on your own, such as leaving your home until the smoke testing is completed. If you have any doubts about whether smoke may be from the smoke testing or a fire, call 911.

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