Smoke Testing

The City of Dover periodically hires crews to test the sanitary sewers in a portion of downtown Dover by blowing nontoxic smoke into the sewer system. This process – smoke testing – can help the City locate spots where stormwater and groundwater can enter the sewer system. 

Smoke testing involves forcing nontoxic, harmless smoke through the sewer system. The odorless smoke used will not stain clothes or furniture and does not create a fire hazard. Smoke will appear if there are leaks in the system. Some smoke may enter homes and businesses if there are dried up drain pipes or defective plumbing. Residents in the area being tested can fill seldom-used drains with water to prevent smoke from entering the home.

Community Services crews will always notify residents before work begins by placing door hanger cards on the doorknobs of affected properties. These cards have additional information about what to expect during the smoke testing. The testing does not require crews to enter homes, and residents do not need to be home during the testing. If residents see smoke in their home or on their property during the testing, they should notify the crew working on their street or contact Community Services at 516-6450.

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