South Bruce Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing



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South Bruce Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

Tuesday May 26th, 2020 (weather permitting)

This public notice is to inform you that Thompson Flow Investigations Inc. (TQI) will be conducting smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system on your street on Tuesday May 26th (alternate rain date Thursday May 28th) during the afternoon starting around noon.

Smoke Testing will be undertaken to help the Town identify sanitary sewer line defects and mechanisms by which sewer odours may enter homes. If possible, it is best for you to be at home during the test, as the primary concern is to source potential sources of sewer odour.

The Fire Department will be notified of the testing. Please do not be concerned if you see smoke coming out of rooftop vents or street manholes as this is normal.

The test consists of blowing highly visible non-toxic “smoke” into the sanitary sewer system at manholes and observing the locations where the smoke exits to the surface (manholes, catch basins, connected downspouts, yard drains, roof top plumbing vents, home basement floor or bathroom shower drains etc).

The “smoke” that is used is manufactured for this purpose. It is non-toxic, odourless, non-staining (on clothing, draperies or furniture) and has no known effects on people or pets. If you come into contact with the “smoke” it is not harmful to your health and will dissipate within a short time after test completion (opening a window is advantageous to vent any residue smoke).

Concerning COVID-19 - TQI personnel will be healthy, wear PPE (gloves and face masks) and will practice social distancing. TQI will only enter a home if notified smoke is in it and if invited in by the resident in an effort to locate sources of smoke (which represents sewer odour). Again social distancing will be practiced.

TQI staff will be on the street wearing identification badges, PPE and orange safety vests. Should smoke enter your home during the test, please note the location where the smoke came into your home (i.e. a basement floor drain or a bathroom) and advise TQI staff out on the street. TQI staff will, with your permission, enter into your home to record smoke exit points. TQI staff will also briefly enter onto all properties along the sewer being tested (front and back yards) to observe & record any other smoke exit points.

If you have any questions, or if you or any members of your family have any health conditions that you feel we need to be aware of, please contact one of the following:

Karen Dennison, On-site Project Manager         Josh Fuller, Operations Manager,
Thompson Flow Investigation Inc. (TQI)            Municipality of South Bruce,
416-806-8330          519 392-6623

The Municipality looks forward to working with you and having our contractor complete this work on Tuesday May 26th or Thursday May 28th (depending on weather conditions).


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of smoke testing?

The purpose of this testing is to find locations where rainwater is entering the sewer system from your home’s downspouts and any cross connections and as well to locate where sewer gas if present, can potentially enter the home. These sources are documented for further remedial action.

2. What are the benefits of smoke testing?

“Smoke” testing is a cost effective and quick method of testing connectivity to the sewer system and locating potential improvements. The “smoke” vapour is harmless and will disappear after only a few minutes.

3. What should I do to prepare for the smoke testing?

Having someone at home during the testing is advantageous for TQI staff to know if any smoke entered your home and to identify the location where the smoke was seen entering the home.

4. What does it mean if smoke enters my house?

If smoke enters your home during the test, it means there are deficiencies in the plumbing pipes or traps within the house that allows potential sewer gas to enter.

5. What should I do if smoke enters my house?

If “smoke” does enter your home, note the location of the smoke and please contact the TQI staff member on the street outside near your home so they can further investigate. Social distancing will be practiced. Identifying where smoke can enter your home is advantageous to both you and your municipality.

6. If smoke gets into the house, what do I do? How long will it take for the smoke
to clear?

If any of the harmless “smoke” does get into your home, simply open a few windows for ventilation. The “smoke” will disappear shortly after testing on the street is completed.

7. I have pets and will not be at home during the testing. Should I be concerned
about their safety?

The “smoke” is not harmful to people or pets. However, it would be a good idea to leave an upstairs window partially open for ventilation, should any smoke happen to enter your home during the testing process.