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The original item was published from 9/17/2019 4:15:58 PM to 9/18/2019 8:24:51 AM.

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Public Works

Posted on: September 16, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Sewer Inspections - Smoke Testing

Flow Assessment Services will be completing sewer inspections in several neighborhoods around the City. A full list and maps of the areas can be found below. These inspections are being completed through smoke testing. The term smoke is used, but it is really more like a fog, like skywriting. It is the same product used for training firefighters. It is odorless, non-toxic, and harmless to humans, pets, plants, food, and material goods.

Smoke testing is the process of blowing non-toxic "smoke" into the sewer system and finding out where it comes out. This help identifies where non-sewage water is entering into the sewer system. The investigations will locate direct and indirect connections such as catch basins, area drains, roof drains, broken sewer pipe and deteriorated pipe joints. Smoke could also enter the building through defective plumbing. If smoke is detected within the building, do not be alarmed. The smoke is non-toxic and non-staining. Simply ventilate your home and report the presence of smoke to Flow Assessment Services staff outside. A police detail will be on-site and fire personnel will be notified daily when and where inspections will be occurring. 

Click here for more information about the process and some commonly asked questions and answers.

Areas to be inspected will be performed 24 - 72 hours after notification is given at each property within the inspection area. The inspections will begin on September 23rd and are anticipated to be finished by October 4th.  

The testing will be completed in the following areas:

Smoke Testing Streets

Click this link for maps of the investigation areas.

This effort is part of the City's Inflow and Infiltration Program. This program is meant to identify areas of the sewer system that are receiving water other than sanitary sewage. By reducing sources of non-sanitary water in the sanitary sewer system, the treatment plant will perform more efficiently and the sewer system will have less issues during rain events.

For any concerns or questions, please call Flow Assessment Services at 1-888-311-9799 or email Benjamin Pearson, Compliance Section Coordinator for Water Resources, at BNP@PortlandMaine.gov.

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