Warrenton will smoke test sewer lines later this month.

The tests are scheduled for May 29 through May 31 and will be conducted by Civil West Engineering Services.

According to the city, smoke testing is an efficient and cost-effective way to identify leaks in the system, as well as locations where unwanted stormwater is entering sewer lines. Workers above ground can spot any smoke escaping through the holes in the system.

During testing, people in Warrenton may see smoke escaping from their eaves and yard drains. 

Smoke may also enter houses through faulty or improper traps and drains. The city recommends pouring water into all drains, including floor drains, prior to testing to minimize smoke entering a home. The smoke is nontoxic, nonflammable and harmless to people, animals and plants.

Smoke should exit through the vent stacks of houses and possibly escape through manholes. However, any other observed smoke in a house can indicate that dangerous and toxic gases are also able to enter the home. If this is the case, city staff suggest contacting a professional plumber.

People who notice smoke in their house or on their property should report it immediately to the personnel conducting the smoke tests or call the Warrenton Public Works Department at 503-861-0912.

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