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Smoke Testing - Questions and Answers

Smoke testing is conducted to find possible leaks in the sanitary sewer system and roof drain connections. Smoke testing can help locate bad connections that homeowners or occupants are not aware of.

Is the smoke harmful?

No. It may make you cough, but it is not harmful to your health and will not harm clothing, drapes or furniture.
What should you do if smoke gets into the house?

Contact Public Works Wastewater Division at 757-933-2311. Open windows for ventilation. The smoke will soon dissipate. When you receive a notice that smoke testing will take place, you should check to see that all traps under basins, washing facilities and floor drains have water in them.
What is the purpose of smoke testing?

To find possible leaks in the sanitary sewer system and roof drain connections. Smoke testing can help locate bad connections that homeowners or occupants are not aware of. If a problem is found with the sewer lateral on the city right-of-way, we will schedule repair or replacement of the line.
I will not be at home during smoke testing and have pets in the house. What should I do?

The smoke is not harmful to pets. It would be a good idea to leave several windows partially open for ventilation, should any smoke enter the building. If you have proper connections and all of the traps have water in them, there should not be any problems.
If smoke gets into the house, how long does it take the smoke to dissipate?

With adequate ventilation the smoke will dissipate quickly.
Can smoke stop up the sewer?

There is no way smoke can stop up a sewer. The smoke is made up of a vaporous substance.
What happens if you find a bad sewer or lack of traps in a building?

This information will be documented and given to the City of Newport News and it will be incumbent upon the City to determine what steps are necessary to remedy the problem.
Will rodents be smoked out?

No. However, the smoke will detect broken building sewers where rodents have access. Owners will be notified to repair broken building sewers.
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Dept. of Public Works
Wastewater
513 Oyster Point Rd.
Newport News, VA 23602

Phone:
(757) 933-2311

Fax:
(757) 269-2772

 

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