Smoke Testing

August 2015

YVSA Performs “Smoke” Testing in Jonesville

 Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority personnel and contractors are currently performing “smoke” testing in the Town of Jonesville. These tests are being conducted to locate sewer problem areas, rate the severity of the issues, and decide what can be done to correct them. Data, including pictures, from the testing will be used to create a program of work documenting the problem areas and ranking them in terms of how fast they need fixing. These studies are then used when applying for state and federal grants to help the Authority offset a large portion of the costs to update the system. These grants help the Authority be able to afford to correct problems without incurring such a heavy debt. This is turn helps the Authority keep costs down and ultimately helps keep rates from increasing more than absolutely necessary.

The process is called “smoke” testing but really is not smoke at all. It is termed “smoke” because of the appearance it gives when the vapor rises from manholes and broken pipes. The vapor is really just that – water vapor mixed with a harmless substance to give the illusion of smoke that is easily identified by technicians performing the tests. The vapor is not toxic and usually dissipates in 20-30 minutes. Occasionally a resident may notice some vapor in their home during the testing of their road. This is normally due to dry drains inside the home. This issue can be easily solved by pouring a small amount of water in unused bathroom and basement drains occasionally. Water in the drains will keep sewer smells from rising into the home.

As weather allows, smoke testing will continue into early September. Technicians performing the testing will be easily identified by safety vests and marked trucks. Green door hangars have also been distributed to all homes in the testing area, detailing more information about the test. Anyone with any questions or concerns are urged to call the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority at 835-9819. The YVSA thanks you for your cooperation during this time of testing to help improve your sewer system.


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