Smoke testing takes place this week

By Bonnie Culverhouse

If smoke gets in your eyes in the next couple of days, then you might have a sewer situation.

Illinois-based Duke’s Root Control has been contracted by the City of Minden to conduct smoke testing on sewer lines in certain areas of the city today (Tuesday) and Wednesday.

“Smoke testing is one of the most cost-effective methods of locating breaks and defects in the sewer system,” said Duke’s Dan Witkowski. “The smoke is an indication of inflow and infiltration that can enter a sewer system during a rain event.”

Witkowski said a smoke test is performed by isolating areas of sewer main through the use of sewer plugs and then setting a device which pressurizes a non-toxic, non-flammable smoke through the isolated pipe sections.

“Defects in the sanitary main such as cracks, illegal tie-ins and cross connections with the storm water system are identified by the presence of smoke,” he said.

Advanced notification in the areas affected began with a letter to residents, radio, newspaper or social media outreach, door tags and signs in the neighborhood.

“Although the smoke is non-toxic, we do request that any resident that has respiratory problems, pets or elderly or special needs family members that might be prone to frighten, attempt to be away from their home during the test,” Witkowski added. “On our notice, we list a call-in number to request advanced notice of the test or for one of our field technicians to knock on their door the day of the test to isolate the time down to a couple of hours that we will be working on testing the lines in front of their homes.”

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