Starting Tuesday, September 8, the City of Portland will be smoke testing the sanitary sewer lines in your neighborhood.
Work will occur between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and it is expected to be completed by Friday, September 11.
Testing involves blowing a harmless artificial smoke into the sewer system to find problem areas, including damaged pipes, improper connections and unwanted water entering the system.
The artificial smoke used is a non-toxic substance that is harmless to humans, pets, food and material items.
During the test, we will be looking for smoke coming from roof vents, catch basins, clean-outs, downspouts or manhole covers. The smoke should not enter your home or business if it is properly plumbed, vented and the water traps contain water.
If smoke enters a home or building, it will clear in a few minutes with proper ventilation.
How Can I Be Prepared?
You may have fixtures (sinks, bathrooms, showers, floor drains) that are seldom used. Pouring a gallon of water into the fixture will fill the trap preventing smoke from entering your home or business if the plumbing is functioning properly. (Note: Water should be added to these fixtures on a monthly basis thereafter in order to prevent sewer gas from entering the home or business in the future.
Your presence is not required during the tests, and all public safety authorities will be notified of this event.
We would appreciate it if you would mention this notice to your neighbors in case they are not aware of the testing.
What if Smoke Enters My Residence or Business?
In the event that smoke enters your home or business, please notify our onsite representative or contact:
Portland Wastewater Superintendent, Keith Moss at 517-231-5773
Fleis & VandenBrink, Project Manager, Elaine Venema at 616-446-9669
If you have any questions about the test, health issues or any other concerns, feel free to contact us.