Sewer System Tested with Smoke

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Smoke is billowing from the streets of Ashland but city officials are assuring residents everything is okay. The city is testing out the sewer sanitary system with a smoke machine.

There will be 1,200 residences tested. If any smoke seeps out from the gutters, roof or drain systems it means there’s a crack or opening in the sewer lines. The test is also checking to see if ground water could be entering the sewer system getting treated as sewer water.

“Ground water we don’t necessarily have to treat as sewer water but we end up treating it at the sewer plant. So, it costs more as a treatment issue down at the treatment plant to treat a clean water source,” says engineering services manager, Scott Fleury.

City officials say openings in the lines are a high possibility. Fleury says the sewer system goes back to the 1800’s.

In the next week, the city plans to make a list of which houses have issues to fix and determine if it the responsibility falls on the city or the homeowner.

City officials say the smoke used to test the system is non-toxic and has no effects on humans, animals or plants