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County to ‘smoke test’ sanitary sewers
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CLEARWATER - Pinellas County’s Department of Environment and Infrastructure initiated tests on the sewer system the afternoon of Nov. 27 to identify pipe defects and unpermitted connections. The testing is done by forcing a non-toxic, artificially created smoke down manholes and through sewer pipes to find cracks and other anomalies in the system.

Residents in the test areas should pour water into any drains that are not frequently used. Water will fill the drain trap and prevent smoke from entering. Typically, drain traps should always be filled with water to prevent sewer gas from entering a home or building.

The correction of any defects discovered on private property as a result of the test is the responsibility of the home or building owner. The owner will be notified if defects are detected. The services of a licensed plumber are recommended.

If necessary, rooms can be ventilated by opening windows or doors. The smoke has a distinctive but not unpleasant odor which lasts only a few minutes with adequate ventilation. The smoke test creates no fire hazard and has no ill effects on humans, plants or animals. However, if individuals experience irritation caused by the smoke, it is recommended that they leave the area and ventilate the home or building for several hours.

Residents in the areas being tested will be notified via door hangers. The first round of testing is scheduled for Nov. 27 to 30 in the Madeira Beach area and customers will be notified via informational door hangers.

Additional areas will be smoke tested from Dec. 3 to 8, Dec. 11 to 14 and Dec. 17 to 21. Those residents will also be notified by door hangers prior to the testing.

For more information, residents can call Customer Service at 464-4000.
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