Smoke testing in area including part of North Lakeshore Drive, Shadylawn Road and Kenmore Road for 1-2 weeks starting on December 5, 2016

On Monday, December 5, we will start testing our sewers in your neighborhood by putting non-toxic smoke into the sewers.
The testing may last one to two weeks. Weather or other conditions may delay the start or completion of our work.
The testing will indicate locations where:
  • There are leaks or other openings in OWASA sewers and in private service pipes that drain to our sanitary sewer system. Openings in our sewers will be corrected to help keep stormwater and groundwater out of the OWASA sewer system, which is designed to collect wastewater. If excessive stormwater or groundwater gets into a sewer, a wastewater overflow may occur. If a private service line is missing the cap on the “clean-out” pipe or has other openings, we will contact the property owner.
  • Storm drains are connected (improperly) to OWASA’s sanitary sewer system.
  • There are unauthorized connections to an OWASA sewer. 
You may see smoke from OWASA’s testing come out of plumbing system vent pipes above the roof of a house or other building. This is expected and does not indicate a problem in the plumbing system
The smoke from OWASA’s testing should not get into the interior of a house or other building if there are no cracks, loose fittings/connections or other openings in the plumbing system.
However, smoke from the testing can get inside a building if there are cracks, openings, loose connections, etc. in the plumbing system, or if the “P-trap” under a sink, in a floor drain or in a toilet is dry. 
For a diagram showing what a P-trap looks like under a sink, please click here.
If you believe a p-trap is dry due to lack of use, etc., please run water in the sink, flush the toilet or pour water in the drain to fill the P-trap. 
We are alerting the Police and Fire Departments about our testing.
 If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during our work.
Ted Shaffer, Crew Supervisor, Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Systems
919-537-4256 or