Smoke Testing March 1 – 5!

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Ilwaco Waste Water Department will be conducting SMOKE TESTING of the sanitary sewer system. This testing will occur March 1st through March 5th, 2021 and will focus on the areas South of Spruce Street (Hwy 101), from 2nd Avenue SW to Adelia Avenue SE, Cook’s Hill, Sahalee, and Discovery Heights. This study will involve the opening and entering of manholes in the streets and public utility easements. An important task of the testing will be to locate breaks and defects in the sewer system. The smoke will also reveal sources of where storm and other surface water enter the sewer system.

Prior to the testing, homeowners are requested to pour water down all drains of plumbing fixtures that are not regularly used in order to fill the P-traps, which will help prevent smoke from entering the house, but if traces of this smoke or its odor do enter your house or building, it is an indication that gases and odors from the sewer may also enter. These can be both unpleasant and dangerous, as well as a health risk to the occupants.

A special non-toxic smoke will be used in these tests. The smoke is manufactured for this purpose, leaves no residuals or stains, and has no effect on plant or animal life. The smoke has a distinctive, but not unpleasant, odor. Visibility and odor last only a few minutes, where there is adequate ventilation.

Because the plumbing appliances in your house or building are connected to the sanitary sewer system, some smoke may enter your home or place of business if the:

  • Vents connected to your building’s sewer pipes are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed,
  • Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed, or missing,
  • Pipes, connections and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your buildings are damaged, defective, have plugs missing, or are improperly installed.

Should smoke enter your home or business, please contact Ilwaco City Hall at 360-642-3145.