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May 16, 2023 12:01 PM

Smoke Testing of Hootstown Sewer System

A contractor will be conducting smoke testing as part of a Sewer System Evaluation Survey in the Hootstown neighborhood of Winston-Salem beginning May 16. Smoke testing is used by utilities to check for infiltration of rainwater into a sanitary sewer system by blowing a vaporized liquid-smoke into the pipe network. The smoke is non-toxic, ranges from white to gray in color, has a slight odor but leaves no stains or residue, is not harmful for humans or pets and does not pose a fire hazard.

The boundary for this project ranges between Peters Creek Parkway on the west, I-40 on the north and Buchanan Street on the east. See the attached map. Smoke testing will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is expected to be completed at the end of June, weather permitting. Lane closures may occasionally be required and traffic will be controlled by a flagger when necessary. Customers within the area have been notified of the smoke testing process via postcard. Door hangers will also be distributed a week prior to smoke testing. Visit cityofws.org/smoketest for more details and to access a dashboard with an interactive map.

During the smoke test, customers may see smoke coming from building vent stacks, manholes or other locations; this is normal. Do not be alarmed and do not call the Police or Fire Department unless you are sure there is a true emergency.

Customers do not need to be home during smoke testing. If a property has any drains that are used infrequently, it is important to run at least a gallon of water from the faucets in those basins before smoke testing is performed. This will fill the water trap in the drain and prevent smoke and sewer gases from entering your home. Learn more on this fact sheet: cityofws.org/DocumentCenter/View/18731/WSFC-Utilities-Rotten-Egg-Odor-Fact-Sheet-PDF?bidId=

If you experience any smoke inside or under your home, it is indicative of a plumbing issue within your building and should be addressed with a plumber to make sure sewer gases are not escaping into your home. Smoke from roof gutters can indicate an improper drainage connection and smoke escaping out of a drain within your property can indicate a dry water trap or that there is no trap present.

Subscribe to Alert Center and News Flash for Utilities updates at cityofws.org/notifyme. For more information, contact City Link at citylink@cityofws.org, call 336-727-8000 or use any of the methods on cityofws.org/citylink.

Hootstown SSES
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