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Posted on: January 16, 2018

Notice - Smoke Testing Sewers



Beginning January 22nd and continuing  to Mid-February

The City of Morro Bay Wastewater Staff will conduct smoke testing on a portion of the City’s sewer system from January 22nd and continuing to mid-February.

The test area is bounded by Toro Lane to the north, Highway 1 to the east, Azure Street to the south, and Beachcomber Avenue to the west.

Smoke testing is one of the most cost-effective methods to locate defects and assess the condition of our sanitary sewer system.

Smoke testing is the process of filling sections of the sewer system with artificial, non-toxic smoke and see where the smoke emerges. If the sewer is in good condition, then the smoke will emerge from manhole lids along the line and house vents on the roof. If the line has defects, the smoke will find the break and try to escape through the break.

While smoke fills the sewer, crews fan out along the smoke test area to observe and document where smoke escapes.

Crew members will carry proper identification and drive well-marked City vehicles.

You do not need to be home during smoke testing.

Sewer lines can reside in backyard utility easements, so City crew members may access these areas during the testing period.

The possibility exists for smoke to enter a building due to infrequently used drains or a defect in pipes. Prior to smoke testing, please pour water into drains that you don’t use regularly. This procedure will fill and seal off your plumbing P-trap and prevent smoke from entering the residence.

The smoke is not harmful to you, your pets, or house plants. It will not harm or stain clothes, drapes, or furniture. It is not flammable and does not create a fire hazard. While the smoke is not considered harmful, it is recommended to avoid prolonged periods of exposure. If smoke appears from a drain inside your residence, open windows and ventilate well to dissipate the smoke.

If smoke gets inside of your home, inform a City crew member canvassing the area, or call Dave Zevely, Wastewater Systems, at 805-748-2157.

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