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City conducting smoke testing in Southeast Austin Aug. 12-23; Part of city’s sanitary sewer system evaluation program

As part of the City of Austin’s sanitary sewer system evaluation program, city crews, with the assistance of WHKS & Co., will conduct smoke testing in the Southeast Austin area for several days between Aug. 12-23, weather permitting. Southeast Austin is generally south of and including Oakland Avenue East and east of and including South Main Street.

The purpose of smoke testing is to identify areas where clear water may be leaking into the sanitary sewer system. This process involves forcing non-toxic smoke into the sewer pipes with a mechanical blower and observing the areas from which the smoke appears. While the blower is running, crews will travel quickly throughout the area taking photographs of problem areas. The smoke is non-toxic, leaves no residue, and creates no fire hazard. The white smoke may appear from vent pipes on the roofs of buildings and from defects in the sewer lines.

The smoke may enter your home or building if a drain trap is dry or if the building has defective plumbing. Residents should pour approximately a gallon of water into each drain to make sure that the trap is full. A drain that has regular use should already be full.

If smoke does enter a building, please report all locations to the work crews by calling the City of Austin Engineering Department at 507-437-9950. You may also call with any questions.