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Sewer Lines to be Smoke Tested This Week

The procedure involves blowing harmless smoke into parts of the sewer system to identify damage or defects.

On Tues., Oct. 16 and Wed., Oct. 17, the City of San Carlos and E2 Consulting Engineers will conduct a smoke testing project to locate sources of unwanted storm water entering the city’s sewer system.

Sanitary sewer lines will be tested this week in Basin 14, which includes homes north of Brittan Avenue, east of Rock Ridge Road, south of Elizabeth Street and west of Orange Avenue.

For a map of smoke testing areas, click on PDF to the right of this article.

Smoke testing involves blowing harmless smoke into parts of the sewer system to identify damage, improper connections, and defects where unwanted storm water may be entering the city’s sewer system. As a result, smoke may be seen coming from roof vents, building foundations, catch basins, clean-outs, downspouts, sewer laterals or manhole covers.

City public works officials say the smoke will not enter homes or businesses if they are properly plumbed, vented, and the water traps contain water.

Officials say the smoke used is a non-toxic substance that is harmless to humans, pets, food, and material items. If smoke does enter the building, it will clear in a few minutes with proper ventilation. It is possible that the smoke could cause a smoke detector or fire alarm to sound. Residents are asked to advise a representative of the smoke testing crew outside of your home or business if any leakage occurs.

Residents to not need to e present at the time of testing, though access to property may be needed to identify sewer defects. San Carlos public safety officials have been notified of the testing.

For more information, or with questions about the testing, call Jeff Blum at 510-652-1164, ext. 799, or Victor Chen at San Carlos Public Works at 650-802-4212.


Maps of the testing areas, schedules, and other information is available on the city's website at www.cityofsancarlos.org.


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