The City of Hood River Utilities Department will conduct sanitary sewer system smoke testing on August 12th and 13th to gain information for future sewer improvements. Community members may notice a distinct odor that results from this testing.
The smoke testing will involve opening and entering manholes in the streets and public utility easements to blow smoke into the sewer system and will occur between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The testing will locate breaks and defects in the sewer system and will also reveal sources where storm and other surface water enter the sewer system. This information will be used in the City’s 10-year Water/Sewer Pipe Reconstruction Project.
The smoke testing area stretches from Columbia Street to the north to Wilson Street to the south. East – west borders are 1st Street to 17th Street, however the primary study area extends from 2nd Street to 13th Street. (see map).
A special non-toxic smoke will be used in testing that leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plant or animal life. The smoke has a distinctive odor last only a few minutes where ventilation is adequate. Because plumbing appliances in homes or buildings are connected to the sanitary sewer system, some smoke may enter buildings if:
- Vents connected to your building’s sewer pipes are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed.
- Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers, and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed, or missing.
- Pipes, connections, and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your buildings are damaged, defective, have plugs missing, or are improperly installed.
If traces of this smoke or its odor enter buildings, it’s an indication that gases and odors from the sewer also could enter. These can be both unpleasant and dangerous, as well as a health risk to the occupants. Should smoke enter your home or business, contact a smoking testing crew member if visible in your area, or call Rich Rice at City Public Works (phone number below). The crew member will be able to help and check with you as to where the smoke has entered your building. Location, identification, and correction of the source of smoke that enters your building is urgently advised.
To reduce the chance of smoke entering your home/business, pour at least five gallons of water down any infrequently used drain such as a floor drain or unused sink within a few days before the start of the test period. This will fill up the trap and reduce that potential point of entry.
For questions or concerns, contact City Project Manager Rich Rice at 541-436-3510.