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Smoke Testing Sewers



For the next several weeks, inspection crews will be conducting a physical survey of the City of Dawson sanitary sewer system.  This study will involve the opening of manholes in the streets and easements.  An important task of the survey will be the “SMOKE TESTING” of sewer lines to locate breaks and defects in the sewer system.  The smoke that you see coming from the vent stacks on houses or businesses or holes in the ground is NON-TOXIC, NON-STAINING, HAS NO ODOR, DOES NOT CREATE A FIRE HAZARD and will dissipate in a few minutes.  The smoke should not enter your home or business unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps.  If this occurs, you should consult your licensed plumber.  In any event, if the smoke can enter through faulty plumbing, the potential exists for dangerous sewer gases to enter your home or business.  Should smoke enter your home or business, you may contact a member of the smoke testing crew working in the area and he will be pleased to check with you as to where and why the smoke has entered your home or business. 


Please notify the City of Dawson before the smoke testing if you have any of the following situations:

  • Dogs, birds, or other pets that will be confined alone in the building during the test
  • A person who will be alone and is an invalid or will be sleeping during the test
  • Any individuals with respiratory problems who will be in the building
  • Elderly persons who will be alone and might be alarmed or confused if they see smoke

Before we conduct the smoke test, please pour water into your basement floor drains and into any unused sinks to fill the trap for the drain.  If this is not done, smoke could enter your building through the drain.

Some sewer lies and manholes are located on the backyard easement property line.  Whenever these lines require investigation, members of the inspection crews will need access to the easements for the sewer lines and manholes.  Homeowners do not need to be home and the workmen will not need to enter your house.




Phone No. 320-769-2154