City of Laredo to smoke test sanitary sewer system on June 13th

Smoke Testing Graphic

The City of Laredo will be smoke testing the sanitary sewers in your area on Tuesday, June 13th.  The purpose of the smoke testing is to locate defective sewer pipes and cross-connections that allow stormwater and groundwater to enter the sanitary sewer system. This stormwater can overwhelm the City’s sanitary sewer system during wet weather and can lead to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and basement back-ups.

The smoke should not enter any homes or businesses unless leaks or plumbing defects exist that provide a pathway for the smoke to enter.

In preparation for the smoke testing, consider the following.

  • Make sure that drain traps for basement floor drains and other sink traps and plumbing fixtures are full of water by pouring approximately ½ gallon of water in each drain.
  • Make sure that your basement floor drain clean-outs are properly capped for the next 2 days.
  • Notify any elderly or handicapped person in your neighborhood to ensure that they are aware of the testing taking place.
  • If you detect smoke in your building during the same period as the smoke testing, open up doors and windows to properly ventilate the room.
  • While the smoke used in this testing is nontoxic, acute exposure can cause irritation of the respiratory system. Individuals are encouraged to properly ventilate any smoke-filled area and leave the room to avoid exposure.
  • If smoke enters your building, notify the city employees working in the area.