Smoke test to be conducted on Colchester sanitary sewers this week

A manhole cover. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle.)

Starting on Thursday, the Town of Essex and the Ontario Clean Water Agency will check sanitary sewers using a smoke test.

Officials will blow a harmless white vapour into sewer manholes and pipes, so they can see where the sewers have gaps. That way, they can see where rainwater is getting into the sewers and develop a plan to fix them.

(Photo of test area courtesy of the Town of Essex)

(Photo of test area courtesy of the Town of Essex)

The smoke is not harmful. It has no odour and will dissipate within minutes.

The smoke should primarily exit the sewer through manholes on the street and the sewer plumbing stack at the top of residential homes. It might also flow from downspouts on homes and stormwater catch basins.

Residents within the testing area can help by slowly pouring one bucket of water down their basement floor drain and any infrequently used sinks.

Those with questions, or a health condition they think may be impacted by the smoke test, should call the Environmental Services Division at 519-776-7336 ext. 1425.