Sewer pipeline smoke testing

The City of Brentwood has rescheduled Sewer Pipeline Smoke Testing until the week of Sept. 21 after severe storms impacted the county on Sunday.

The routine tests were scheduled to begin on Monday, Sept. 14, but now, according to a news release, have been pushed back by one week with testing hours scheduled to be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The city announced that the entire project will take three to four weeks and will begin for homes on the east side of Franklin Road north of Moores Lane, eventually testing approximately 55,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer pipe. 

The "smoke" is actually a mist that poses no threat to people, animals or property, and homeowners do not need to be home for the process, and inspectors will not enter any home.

The city said in the news release that inspectors will be wearing vests to help identify themselves and will need to walk around the front and back of properties to look for signs of smoke coming from area drains.  

The tests will be conducted by Barge Design Solutions, Inc. and Utility Technologies, both consulting engineering firms hired by the city, as part of a city Water Services Department test of 60,000 linear feet testing on an annual basis to be completed over the next few years as part of the current Sewer Rehabilitation Program.  

"Over the past few years, we have relied on visual or remote camera inspections to assess the conditions of our sewer pipelines," Brentwood Water Services Assistant Director Drew Muirhead said in the news release. "Smoke testing is another tool we will use to identify defects, which allow groundwater and rainwater to enter the sewer piping system.”

During smoke testing, residents may see smoke in or near their home. The city said that if residents experience smoke in their home, that may mean that they have something in their plumbing that needs attention. 

"Normally, it’s something simple like a dry plumbing trap or a bad wax ring on a toilet. Smoke in the home during this time could indicate that sewer gas could enter the home and needs to be addressed," the news release reads.

The city said that they have contacted impacted residents in advance and contractors will leave door hangers one or two days before testing on a street.

Residents should perform the following tasks to ensure smoke does not enter a home:

  • Run water for 30 seconds in fixtures that are not regularly used, such as garage sinks, to allow the water traps to fill. 
  • Pour about one quart of water in any floor drains to ensure these water traps are also filled.
  • Please prepare your drains once you’ve received the smoke testing notice. This only needs to be done once.

The city has also provided an educational video 6 Steps to Performing a Smoke Test for residents.

For more information, contact Drew Muirhead, Brentwood Water Services Assistant Director at (615) 371-0080, or [email protected].