Summit Park Smoke Testing Schedule

During testing, if smoke is coming from drains, sinks, tubs, gutters or the ground, you do not need to call 911.
Open your windows and pour water down drains. The smoke vapor will dissipate soon.
Report to the Summit Park PSD Team to make them aware of where smoke may be escaping the sewer system.
Depending on how the smoke entered, it could be simply a dry water trap that needs no action or a broken sewer line that does need action. You may want to consult a professional plumber for advice.
Did you know?  Pouring water in unused drains also keeps harmful gases emitted from the sewer system from entering your home?  It is good practice to regularly pour water in unused drains.

             Summit Park Public Service District

                                                                  SMOKE TESTING
                                                                     October 15th to 18th
                                                           Summit Park Public Service District
Work crews will be in your area starting October 15th, 2019. A “SMOKE TEST” survey will assist
our inspection crews in locating breaks and defects in the sanitary sewer system in your area.
This will involve blowing HARMLESS smoke into the sanitary sewer system. The smoke you see
coming from catch basins, area drains, house roof down spouts, sump pump discharge and/or
foundation drains directly connected to the sanitary system, storm inlets, or holes in the
NO FIRE HAZARD, and WILL DISSIPATE IN A FEW MINUTES. The smoke should not enter your
Should smoke enter your home/business, open the windows and if it persists for more than 30
minutes, you may contact a member of the smoke testing crew working in the area and
someone will assist you in determining where and why the smoke has entered your building.
The smoke will clear within a few minutes with proper ventilation. Your presence at home is not
required during the testing. All public safety authorities have been notified. We would
appreciate it if you would share this information with your neighbors to prevent needless
Should you have any questions or concerns during smoke testing and sanitary sewer system
inspection, please contact: the Summit Park Public Service District at 304.623.5304.

                                    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SMOKE TESTING

1. Why are smoke tests performed?
A. The Public Service District performs smoke tests to determine if there are any incorrect
connections to or defects within the sanitary sewer system. A defect could allow storm water in
to the sanitary sewer system raising the cost of wastewater treatment and potentially causing
sewer backups. During a smoke test, smoke is blown into sewer systems and creates visual
indicators where leaks or breaks exist. It involves opening manholes in the streets and public
utility easements and takes 15 minutes.

2. I or a family member has a respiratory problem. What should I do during a smoke test?
A. Very rarely does smoke enter a home, but it would be best if you could sit outside for the
duration of the smoke test which is approximately 5 minutes. If you cannot sit outside open the
windows of your home and shut your bathroom doors. Also let the smoke test crew member
who knocks on your door know you have a respiratory condition.

3. I work during the day and have inside animals. What do I do during a smoke test?
A. Very rarely does smoke enter a home, but if you do have to leave your animals inside make
sure you leave windows open. On the rare occasion when smoke does enter the home it is
usually a defect in the bathroom, so do not lock animals in the bathroom. Shut bathroom doors
and leave the bathroom window open.

4. Is smoke harmful to my animals?
A. In most cases no. But if your animal has a respiratory condition the smoke could irritate it.

5. Is smoke harmful to my plants?

A. No, the smoke is not harmful to indoor or outdoor plants.

6. Why would smoke enter my resident or business?
A. A plumbing defect or unused sinks, showers or drains is how smoke would enter a home or
business. The most frequent cause of smoke in a resident or business is a bad wax ring on the
toilet. Unused sinks, showers or drains should have water placed in them to fill up the p-traps.
A p-trap is a standard plumbing fitting used on all sinks, showers or drains so sewer gases and
sewer odor won't enter your home. Make sure the drains in your residence/business have
water in them so they can prevent smoke from entering. Pour a bucket of water down floor,
sink or shower drains or down any toilets that haven't been used in a month.

7. Should I be concerned if smoke enters my home or business?
A. Yes. If traces of this smoke or its odor enter your house or business, it is an indication that
gases and odors from the sewer also may enter. Sewer gasses can be both unpleasant and
dangerous, as well as a health risk to the occupants. If smoke does enter your home or
business, there is likely a defect in your plumbing and you should contact a plumber to resolve
the problem.

8. What should I do if smoke enters my home or business?
A. Open your windows and call a professional plumber.

9. How long does the smoke test last?
A. Approximately 15 minutes.

10. I have a sump pump connected to my sewer lateral under the house will that be affected
during the smoke test?

A. Yes, sump pumps are illegal connections to the sanitary sewer system. If you have a sump
pump connected to the sanitary sewer system you should disconnect it. If your sewer lateral
becomes fully or partially plugged and your sump pump turns on, the water could be pumped
into your home through a shower or tub causing tremendous damage.