Smoke Testing

What is Smoke Testing

The Weatherford Water Department utilizes smoke testing to check sewer lines. Smoke testing involves forcing smoke-filled air through a sewer line. The smoke under pressure will fill the main line plus any connections; then follow the path of the leak to the ground surface, quickly revealing the source of the problem. Only enough force to overcome atmospheric pressure is required. As long as openings exist for the smoke to follow, smoke tests are effective, regardless of surface type, soil type and depth of lines. Smoke coming out of the ground may indicate a break or other defect in the sewer line which allows smoke to escape up through the ground. However, smoke doesn't always originate at the spot the smoke plume emerges. Sometimes smoke will escape through a defect in the sanitary sewer line, then travel or migrate along the pipe until it finds a way to rise to the surface.  City crews will introduce smoke into the sanitary sewer with a smoke blower at selected manholes.  Places where smoke exits the system may be photographed and marked with flags for later reference.  This smoke is harmless to people and animals.  If you have a question, please feel free to contact a staff member with the Water Dept. that is in the area or call 817-598-4259.

Why we smoke test?

  • Smoke testing is the most efficient and cost effective way to locate and identify infiltration and exfiltration problems in sewer systems. 
  • Smoke testing is a tool used nationwide as a means for locating the problems that are threatening our supply of clean water and costing millions of dollars in additional waste water treatment. 
  • Smoke testing helps identify plumbing leaks in buildings. Sewer gases can cause health problems for building occupants.

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