Fake smoke to be part of sewer study

Duane Hicks

If you see smoke coming out of the sewer next week, don’t panic—it’s only a test.
As part of the ongoing sanitary sewer system infiltration and inflow investigation study, several sections of the system will be charged with fake smoke starting at 9 a.m. next Tuesday (Nov. 9) and finishing up the following day (Nov. 10).
The following sections will be charged with fake smoke:
•Armit Avenue between Second and Third Street East;
•Victoria Avenue between First and Second Street East;
•Crowe Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Street East; and
•Butler Avenue between Nelson and Church Street.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown explained the use of the fake smoke.
“Basically, fake smoke is discharged through a sanitary sewer manhole to determine all the paths where the sanitary sewer system is connected to the storm sewer system,” he noted.
“For example, if a home has its roof downspouts tied to the sanitary sewer system, the fake smoke will discharge out through the roof eavestroughs, thus indicating a cross connection between the sanitary sewer system and the storm sewer system,” he added.
“There has been a bylaw in place since 1985 where these types of cross connections are unacceptable, and home owners must take steps at their costs to eliminate these cross connections on their property,” Brown stressed.
He said the four sections of the sanitary sewer system listed above were selected by the consultant based on infiltration and inflow data collected since March.
There is an indication these sections are highly-impacted by infiltration or inflow flows.
The sanitary sewer system infiltration and inflow investigation study has been ongoing since August, 2009, with completion scheduled sometime next November.