Thursday, May 12, 2022

Smoke testing set for entire city sewer system

Inkster residents do not need to be alarmed should they see white smoke curling up from area drains or sewers this month.

City officials have authorized smoke tests of the sanitary sewer in the community in an effort to locate breaks and defects in the system. Smoke testing is a technique utilized to identify sections of sewer which may exhibit inflow during heavy rainfall. Smoke testing is considered by experts as the best method to detect inflow sources such as roof leaders, cellar, yard and area drains, foundation drains, abandoned building sewers, faulty connections, illegal connections and storm water drainage system cross connections. The test can also detect structural damages and leaking joints in sewer pipes and overflow points in sewer systems, city officials said.

Work crews from Alfred Benesch & Co., engineers for the City of Inkster, will be performing smoke testing throughout the city until Friday, May 27.

During the testing, a crew will use a high-capacity blower smoke technique to test each sewer line. Smoke blowers are placed on manholes and smoke is blown through the sewer system. Anywhere the smoke exits, there is potential for stormwater to enter the sewer system, officials said.

The smoke is not harmful or dangerous. The smoke that exits the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground is non-toxic, harmless and has no odor. It does not create a fire hazard.

To prepare for the testing, officials said that all drains and taps should be filled with water to prevent sewer gases from entering the building. Be sure this includes all basement drains, officials warned. About 3 cups of water should be poured into floor and sink drains, filling the traps to prevent smoke from entering the home. If smoke does enter, residents should consult a local licensed plumber. If harmless smoke can enter through faulty plumbing, the potential exists for dangerous sewer gases to also enter the home, officials cautioned. 

“Should smoke enter the building or home during smoke testing, contact Dan Guastella of the smoke testing crew and provide your name, address and phone number if you are unable to reach the crew,” official said. Guastella can be reached at (313) 234 0307. 

Homeowners do not need to home during smoke testing and at no time will field crews need to enter any residence. The smoke testing crew will be noticeable documenting the testing taking photos and measuring distances so that the defects may be found at a later date and repaired.

More information about the testing is available from Maya Roots at (313) 563-9774.