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Russell to Begin Citywide Smoke Testing

City of Russell LogoAs part of an ongoing maintenance program, City of Russell crews, with assistance from the Kansas Rural Water Association, will conduct smoke testing of the sanitary sewers from July 9 through July 13.

Smoke testing is a safe and inexpensive way to identify leaks in the City's sanitary sewer system, which allows rain and groundwater to enter.

A special, non-toxic smoke will be used in these tests. This smoke, manufactured for this purpose, leaves no residuals or stains and has no effects on plant and animal life.

The smoke has a distinctive, but not unpleasant, odor. Visibility and odor last only a few minutes where there is adequate ventilation.

During testing, blowers are placed on manholes and smoke is forced through the system. Smoke exiting the system reveals sources of sewer odors in your neighborhood as well as places where storm and other surface waters are entering the sanitary sewer system.

Because the plumbing appliances in your house or building are connected to the sanitary sewer system, some of this smoke may enter your house if the:

  • 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 building are damaged, defective, have plugs missing or are improperly installed.

If traces of this smoke enter your house or building, it is an indication that gases and odors from the sewer may enter and it is recommended that the property owner make appropriate repairs to prevent sewer gases from entering the building.

If there are no deficiencies, smoke will pass through the system and exit through roof vents.

The smoke testing is expected to take one week and the results will assist the City with planning for rehabilitation and repair projects in the future.

To discuss smoke testing activities in advance of or during testing, please contact Russell Public Works Director Rich Krause at 785-483-6311.

(Information courtesy City of Russell.)

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