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The original item was published from 10/17/2018 9:43:34 AM to 10/20/2018 12:00:03 AM.

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Christiansburg News & Announcements

Posted on: October 17, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Smoke testing to occur on Robin Road on Thursday, Oct. 18

A Town employee wearing a hard hat and Public Works vest.

The Town of Christiansburg will be conducting smoke tests on the sanitary sewer system in the area of 145 Robin Road on Thursday, Oct. 18.

Weather permitting, the sewer smoke testing will occur between 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Residents in the area have been notified of the testing. 

The purpose of smoke testing is to find defects and faulty connections where excess rain water (Inflow) and ground water (Infiltration) can enter the sanitary sewer system, negatively affecting its economical and safe functioning. Illegal Inflow sources/connections include: sump pumps, roof and foundation drains, and storm water cross-connections. The information gained from smoke testing will help the Town of Christiansburg find and eliminate unknown sources of inflow and infiltration (I/I) entering the sanitary sewer system.

Reducing I/I is an on-going Town effort to help:

  • Maintain health & safety (reduce the risk of sewer back-ups and sinkholes).
  • Extend the service life of public infrastructure (lift stations, sewer pipe, etc.)
  • Reduce wastewater treatment costs by reducing the amount of clear water that is treated.

Important information about smoke testing:

  • Simulated smoke will be injected into the sewer system. As a result smoke may be seen coming from manhole covers, storm drains, roof vents, and building foundations.
  • After each setup, the smoke test will last approximately 30 minutes.
  • Photographs will be taken to document potential leaks/defects.
  • Inspection crews will not need to enter buildings, unless to gain access to building rooftops.
  • Faucets and bathroom facilities can still be used during smoke testing.

Tips to prevent smoke from entering your building (complete prior to test):

  • Run water faucets for a few seconds in unused sinks, tubs, and drains to fill fixture traps.
  • Pour water into each floor drain (at least 1 gallon)
  •  If you have defective plumbing (i.e. no trap), you should consult with a licensed plumber.

If you notice smoke in your building:

  • Do NOT become alarmed.
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the premises to clear smoke.
  • Simulated smoke will not stain walls or furniture; nor will it leave a residue.
  • Consult a licensed plumber in the near future to identify the smoke access area, as the potential exists for sewer gases to enter the building in the same manner.

Safety/ Health Issues:

  • There is NO danger of fire or explosion of sewer gas with the smoke testing process.
  •  Town of Christiansburg Fire Department will be notified of the smoke testing.
  • Simulated smoke is NOT harmful to your health, but may cause some coughing. Smoke irritation is temporary and should disappear after exposure has ceased. When possible, avoid unnecessary exposure to simulated smoke.
  • The smoke is not harmful to pets, but it would be a good idea to leave several windows partially open for ventilation, should any smoke enter the building. If you have proper plumbing connections and all of the drain traps have water in them, there should not be any problem.

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