Tallahassee to Start Smoke Testing Sewer Lines on Monday

Posted at 3:23 PM, Oct 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-22 15:23:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- The city of Tallahassee will start smoke testing sewer lines on Monday.

From the City of Tallahassee


In its continued commitment to enhance wastewater infrastructure and protect the environment, the City of Tallahassee's Underground Utilities department will conduct smoke testing on sewer lines beginning on Monday, Oct. 26. This preventative maintenance work will help identify leaks, defects and stormwater inflows in the sewer system, thereby improving wastewater treatment operations and efficiency.

The test consists of forcing vegetable oil-derived smoke into the sewer lines and observing where it escapes in order to determine the location of leaks and defects. The safe, odorless smoke leaves no residuals or stains and has no adverse effect on people, plants or animals.

Smoke-testing activities will focus on the northeast side of Tallahassee, including many areas north of I-10 between North Meridian Road and Centerville Road with the northernmost boundary being Millstone Plantation Road. To see impacted areas, please view this map.

Residents and business staff do not need to be at home or at their properties during the testing, which usually takes about 15 minutes. Notification and detailed information will be provided via door hangers prior to testing. City crews, assisted by the contractor Utility Sealing Services, Inc., will perform the safe, routine work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting. Work will proceed from north to south, with the entire project area scheduled to be completed by the end of November.

"This is the most efficient and cost effective means to locate the source of leaks and infiltration into the sewer system," said Eric Etters, manager of Water and Sewer Planning. "Identifying and eliminating those leaks is an ongoing effort by Underground Utilities to improve the performance of the sewer system."

While smoke can flow out of manhole covers and vent stacks on roofs, it should not enter homes. To reduce the likelihood of smoke entering a building, the City recommends that sewer customers in affected areas pour 2-3 gallons of water into seldom-used sinks and floor drains at any time prior to the test.

For more information, please call 891-4YOU (4968) or visit