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City to blow smoke in sewers Monday

Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 12:01 am

Fort Wayne City Utilities will be “smoke testing” sewer lines in many neighborhoods in the northeast part of town beginning Monday. The area is bounded by Stellhorn and Rothman roads just east of St. Joe Road and west of Laymeyer Road. The testing will cover more than 200,000 feet of pipe and should take about eight weeks.

The tests allow crews to find leaks and other problems that contribute to overflows by blowing smoke into manholes to test sections of sewer and storm lines. If the smoke comes out, it’s an indication that sewers may be cracked, have a bad joint or other deficiencies. The smoke being used is non-toxic, non-staining, has no odor and creates no fire hazard. It will be white or grey in color.

Residents may see smoke coming out of manholes, inlets, out of the ground or from gutters, downspouts or plumbing vents on roofs. Smoke should not enter any homes. If it does enter a home it could mean a drain tap is dry or that there is a plumbing defect. City Utilities suggests that property owners make sure that drain traps have water in them.

Residents who find smoke in their home should exit the building and look for City Utilities crews, who will be nearby conducting the tests. If residents are away and return home to find smoke in their home, they should call the 311 service center.