Village Life

Smoke testing begins in village

The Village of Yellow Springs will be implementing smoke testing of the sewer collection system beginning in late July. Smoke testing is used to test lines for leaks and will be done on a line-by-line, street-by-street basis. It will occur during the day and will be completed in about a week. Testing will take a couple of hours per street.

Where sewer lines are intact, “smoke will not leak from a pipe into a home or into the atmosphere,” said Village Manager Laura Curliss. “Where there are leaks, smoke will appear. We will be looking for that and documenting it.”

The Village expects that most homes will not experience smoke entering the home. Notifications will go out to residents at least 24 hours in advance of testing on a particular street via door hangers and a reverse 911 call. To prepare for smoke testing, homeowners and occupants should do one easy thing to prevent smoke from entering a house: pour one gallon of water down each and every drain. “Do not forget floor drains in garages and basements, basement showers, unused mop sink or washer connections,” said Jason Hamby, superintendent.

If smoke does enter a home, residents are advised to leave the premises and notify the Village by calling dispatch at 767-7206 or Hamby at 605-9651, or contact personnel on-site during smoke testing in the neighborhood. “Residents with smoke entering the house may need to realize that it is possible that sewer gases have been also entering the home,” said Hamby. “We will be available to answer questions to help identify the problem, but ultimately the owner of the residence will need to fix any faulty plumbing.”

The smoke testing will utilize a liquid smoke product called LiquiSmoke. Information about the product may be obtained online or from the Village at the police dispatch window. The smoke is not medically harmful, does not stain or leave odors in home materials and is non-carcinogenic, but for some people may be irritating to nasal passages. Any smoke irritation will be temporary and should quickly disappear after exposure has ceased. House pets may react in a manner similar to humans. “If you are not going to be at home during smoke testing, you may not want to leave your pet in the house that day,” said Curliss.

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