Escanaba to test sewer lines with smoke

ESCANABA — The city of Escanaba will begin smoke testing the sanitary sewer collection system on Ludington Street. Eighteen blocks of Ludington Street will be smoke tested from 19th Street to the Municipal Dock.

Work is planned to begin today starting at 8 a.m. on the 1900 and 1800 blocks of Ludington Street. Personnel plan to keep moving east towards the park as quickly as this work will allow.

Testing of the sanitary sewer collection system will help locate and correct sources of inflow – infiltration, in hopes of reducing the amount of storm and ground water in the sanitary sewer system. Limiting this type of flow will allow the city to reduce the cost of treating this type of water at the wastewater plant.

This testing uses a white smoke, which is forced through the sewer lines. The testing is intended to help locate any inflow – infiltration areas in the sewer system caused by breaks in the lines, condition of manholes, broken clean-outs, or connections to the storm sewer system. It will also help locate any unlawful sewer connections; such as roof drains, foundation drains, and sump pumps discharging into the sanitary sewer.

If your sanitary sewer is functioning correctly, this work will not affect your business or residence. The smoke will only appear where toxic sewer gas is presently entering your building. Should smoke appear, it is an indication that a plumbing failure is present and should be addressed for your health and welfare. It is very common for infrequently used drains to have a dry trap due to evaporation, which would allow the sewer gases and smoke used for testing to enter a building.

Residents should pour some water down these types of infrequently used drains before the smoke testing begins, to avoid any unnecessary issues with the smoke from entering your building.

Notify the city before workers conduct the test if you have any of the following situations:

– A person who will be alone and is an invalid, immobile, sick, or sleeping during

the test.

– Any individuals with respiratory problems, or those who use oxygen for breathing problems who will be in the building.

– Elderly persons who will be alone and might be alarmed or confused if they see smoke.

– If you have any of these situations or have questions regarding the smoke test, call 786-3291 or 786-1301.

*If you have pets left in the building left by themselves, you may want to consider leaving a window cracked open to allow for any smoke to be ventilated if it should enter the dwelling.

For any questions or concerns contact the City of Escanaba Water & Wastewater Departments at 786-3291 or 786-1301.