Smoke testing involves the forced injection of a non-toxic, odorless, non-staining smoke into the sanitary sewer system for testing purposes.
When the liquid is injected into the manhole system, it atomizes into visible smoke and qualified field technicians observe the neighboring area for smoke exiting the sewer system through various locations.
Indications of smoke permeating through the ground or billowing from houses or other improper locations are evidence of leaks or improper tie-ins to the sewer that allow rainwater to enter the sewer, thus creating overflows, back-ups and unnecessary wastewater treatment cost.
Smoke testing is one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to locate and identify the source of an inflow or infiltration (I & I) problem that could lead to increases in monthly service bills or threaten the health of residents.
From this standpoint of safety, smoke testing can pinpoint areas where deadly and potentially explosive gases could be entering your home or business. These gases are life threatening and are often undetectable until the problem has grown to dangerous levels.
If, during the visual inspection, smoke is discovered where it should not be, it is digitally recorded so that it can be documented and earmarked for future repair. Testing must be conducted where the water tables are low and when the soil is relatively dry because water conceals indications.
Smoke testing should also be avoided on windy days because even a very light breeze can disperse an important, small indication before it is visible at the source of a leak. All indications, whether small or large, from the gr