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May 15, 2019

Notice of Sanitary

Sewer Smoke Testing


Beginning on Monday May 20th 2019, a field crew from KHEOPS Architecture, Engineering and Survey will initiate smoke testing of your neighborhood’s sanitary sewer system. Inspection crews will be opening manholes in the streets and easements. Smoke testing of the sewer lines will be conducted to locate breaks and defects within the system. The testing will consist of placing a machine with liquid smoke over a manhole and blowing the smoke into the sewerlines.  Any smoke that you may see coming from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground during testing is WHITE, NON-TOXIC, HAS LITTLE ODOR, CREATES NO FIRE HAZARDS, & WILL DISSIPATE RAPIDLY.




This non-invasive test does not typically require private property access and will take place Monday through Friday, 7am - 5 pm.



What is the purpose of smoke testing and how will it be conducted? Smoke testing is used to find possible leaks in the sanitary sewer system. During this test, non‐toxic, artificially created smoke (like a fog machine at a concert) is blown into access points (manholes) in the pipe. This smoke will escape through defects in the pipe, such as holes or cracks, or through illicit connections such as roof leaders, and be visible above ground. Smoke coming from plumbing vents and manhole rims is normal during this test. Any defects will be noted and may also be photographed.


Do I need to be at home during smoke testing? No.


What do I need to do to prepare for smoke testing? Please make sure that all drain traps under sinks, toilets, washing facilities and floor drains have water in them. To fill them, simply run each faucet for 30 to 60 seconds, flush toilets.


What should I do if I have pets and will not be home during smoke testing? The smoke is not harmful to pets. It would be a good idea to leave several windows partially open for ventilation, should any smoke enter your home. If you have proper plumbing connections and all of the drain traps have water in them, there should be no smoke entering your home.


Is the smoke harmful to humans or furnishings? No, it is not harmful to your health, clothing or furniture.


What should I do if smoke gets into my home and how long will it take to clear? If smoke enters your home during testing, please notify the field crew performing the test outside. Open windows or doors to allow ventilation and note the location of the smoke. If the smoke can enter through faulty plumbing, the potential exists for dangerous sewer gases to enter your home. Smoke inside your home can help identify bad plumbing connections or a cracked seal around a toilet. Smoke alarms may sound. The smoke will clear quickly.


Can smoke cause problems in the sanitary sewer system? No. The smoke is a vaporous substance that is blown through the system to detect leaks and stormwater inflow defects.


Is there a website that I can visit for more information? Yes. There is a video on the website


For specific scheduling information, please contact :Jill Sawyer— KHEOPS-  716.849.8739 x2197


For any additional questions, please contact:

Ken Mazurek– Village of Depew DPW– 716.683.5700

David Britton, PE – GHD Consulting- 716-856-2142


Thank you for your cooperation to help improve your sewer service