Smoke Testing FAQ
What is the purpose of smoke testing?
Smoke testing is performed to find possible defects or breaks in the sewage collection system and illegal connections to the sewer system such as storm drains or roof drains. Smoke testing can help locate faulty pipes and sewer connections which can allow stormwater or groundwater to enter the sewer system. The increased flow from stormwater and/or groundwater increases the risk of sewage overflows from manholes and cleanouts, and increases the costs associated with treating the additional flow.
Is the smoke used for testing the sewer system harmful?
No, the smoke that is used is non-toxic to you, your pets or your plants. Further, it will not harm clothing, drapes, or furniture. With that said, residents should avoid inhaling the smoke as it may cause irritation to the air passages. The Material Safety Data Sheet is available at our office at 350 N. Military Road in Slidell for anyone who would like to review it.
Smoke got in my house, how did it get there and what should I do?
Smoke may enter your structure if:
- Vents connected to your building's sewer pipe are inadequate, defective or improperly installed;
- Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed or missing; or
- Pipe, connections and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your building are damaged, defective, have clean out plugs missing or are improperly installed.
If you do see or smell smoke in your structure, open your windows and doors for ventilation. The smoke will soon dissipate.
If my drains are filled and I still have smoke coming into my house, what should I do?
This may indicate that your internal plumbing is not working properly and it may be allowing sewer gases into your home. You should consider calling a plumber, but repairs to your internal plumbing are at your discretion.