Unauthorized water can cause an unnecessary load on the wastewater treatment plant and potentially cause sanitary sewer overflows.
A special, non-toxic smoke is forced into the sewer lines in a neighborhood. This smoke leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plants or animals. Direct contact with the smoke may cause minor respiratory irritation in some people.
Cleveland Utilities employees performing smoke tests will wear photo identification badges, uniforms and drive vehicles identified with the CU seal.
“Crew members will not request entry into your home, but will be available in the neighborhood to assist you if you have any questions about the process,” said Greg Clark of Cleveland Utilities Engineering Department. “We will place notices on local radio stations where we plan to be working on a daily basis. Cleveland Utilities is also notifying 911 emergency services of the areas where smoke testing is being performed on a daily basis. This testing cannot be conducted during certain weather conditions, so it can sometimes be delayed after the notice is placed.”
Keep smoke from unnecessarily entering structures by running water into all drains for one minute, especially infrequently used drains. Smoke should not enter structures unless:
n Vents connected to the building’s sewer pipe are inadequate, defective or improperly installed;
n Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed or missing; or pipe, connections and;
n seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your building are damaged, defective, have clean out plugs missing or are improperly installed.
Immediately report inside smoke to the testing crew or call Cleveland Utilities at 423-478-9387 or 423-478-9393.
“Location, identification and correction of the smoke entering your house is strongly recommended,” Clark said. “Do not be concerned if you see testing smoke coming from your rooftop sewer vents. This is normal.”