Smoke testing of sewer lines in three areas of Brookings is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, April 9 and 10, Public Works & Development Director, Loree Pryce, announced today.
Smoke testing is used to locate defects where rainwater or groundwater is entering, or infiltrating, the sewage collection system.
“A nontoxic, white smoke will be released into the sewer lines,” Pryce said. “Observing where smoke emerges helps determine specific locations where repairs are needed.”
Testing will be conducted in three areas: along Fern Avenue adjacent to the ball fields, in the area between Mill Beach Road, Chetco Avenue and the ocean and the area surrounding Hassett, Old County Road, Meadow Lane and 7th Street.
“Smoke inside a building can indicate defects in the structure’s plumbing,” said Pryce. “This type of defect may allow unpleasant and potentially dangerous sewer gases to enter your house or business and should be corrected immediately.”
Pryce noted that if a building’s plumbing is properly installed and maintained, smoke should not enter the structure. However, smoke will be observed coming from manholes in the street and from plumbing centers on the roof or exterior of buildings.
“If smoke enters your home or business, ventilate by opening your windows and doors, and notify the Public Works crew doing the testing,” Pryce said. The Brookings Public Works crew will be in the area where the testing is being conducted and will be wearing orange jackets or vests and driving white City vehicles.
“The smoke is nontoxic, will quickly dissipate leaving no residue or stain, and will not harm plants or animals,” Pryce said. Residents with concerns about the smoke should contact Public Works Supervisor Richard Christensen at (541) 469-1171.
Following completion of the smoke testing, staff will notify property owners of any defects found on private property. Staff will also work toward developing recommendations for correcting defects to the City’s sewer system.
Excessive infiltration is a serious problem due to its effect on the capacity of the collection system and the wastewater treatment plant. “We need to reduce the amount of infiltration of non-sewage water into the sewer system,” Pryce said. “Processing water that does not need to be treated through our wastewater treatment plant is a waste of money.”