Smoke testing is used to identify sections of sewers which may exhibit inflow during rainfall. In flow sources are illegal connections, yard drains, foundation drains, faulty connections and storm water drainage system cross connections.
A two man crew places a smoke blower (below) over manholes and smoke is blown through the sewer system. Anywhere smokes exits, there is a potential for stormwater to enter the sewer system. Smoke testing is generally requested by councils and water authorities.
The smokes that is generated by the blower is not hazardous, non-toxic and has minimal odour and does not create a fire hazard.
Notices will be given to residents 24-48 hours prior to the test, home and building owners are not required to be present when testing is conducted as they will only be entering the property and not the dwelling or building. The crew will record the testing, take photos and measure distances so defects can be located.
It is recomended that residents pour approximatly 4 litres of water into drain traps, sinks, showers & tubs to prevent sewer gases from entering the building and prevent smoke entering the home. If smoke does enter, the resident should consult a licenced plumber.
This means that if harmless smoke from the blower can enter through faulty plumbing, there is a possibilty that dangerous sewer gases may also be entering the house.