Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Testing of storm and sanitary sewers by use of smoke

Public Works' Water Resources Division has contracted with Watershed Consulting Associates to conduct smoke tests of the storm and sanitary sewers in certain areas of the city. This testing will take place on October 10, 2018. This testing will help us locate any potential non-stormwater (anything other than rain) discharges to the stormwater system. This work is part of our already planned and underway efforts to improve our stormwater system, meet federal and state permits and is complementary to additional efforts being taken in light of this summer's infrastructure challenges, including the Clean Water Resiliency Plan (burlingtonvt.gov/dpw/cwrp).

During the test, you may see smoke coming from catch basin grates, manholes, or even sanitary sewer vent stacks on houses or from holes in the ground. Sometimes, smoke may enter a building as a result of these tests. If you see smoke entering your home via one of your drains, please notify the test crew immediately, or call (802) 863-4501. Note the location where smoke is entering the building and open windows and doors to allow smoke to dissipate. The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, non-staining, does not create a fire hazard. It will dissipate in a few minutes. This testing is a safe, effective and commonly used protocol.

We have distributed hang tags with more specific information to all of the homes and businesses in the vicinity of where smoke testing will occur. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the City's Stormwater Program Manager, Jenna Olson, at (802) 863-4501 as soon as possible. For media inquiries, please contact Robert Goulding, Public Information Manager, at 802-540-0846 or RGoulding@burlingtonvt.gov.

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