If you happen to see a puff of whirling smoke emanating from your drains at home, it’s not a fire you have to worry about. It’s a pipe problem.
The Gasparilla Island Water Association has contracted a company to conduct smoke testing on the sewer system next week. The smoke won’t be harmful, as it is created with vegetable oil. The company that will administer the tests, USSI, LLC, will pump the smoke into the sewer lines to see where there might be a leak.
According to Bonnie Pringle, executive director of GIWA, it is expected for the smoke to filter through manhole covers and vent stacks in roofs; it is not normal for the smoke to enter a home or business.
“This could indicate there is a problem with your sewer plumbing,” she said. To reduce the likelihood of that happening, you should pour two to three gallons of water down seldom-used drains, where the smoke could arise due to lack of water pressure. This can be done any time prior to the testing.”
If smoke does enter the building you are in during the testing, open windows and doors to clear the smoke out and contact a work crew in the area.
While smoke testing is safe and considered to have no adverse health effects, individuals with respiratory conditions should take special precautions and avoid exposure to the smoke. Residents with heart or respiratory conditions may contact USSI at (888) 645-9570 to coordinate testing times and devise alternative testing procedures if necessary.
Smoke testing is a vital preventative maintenance test that will help pinpoint the location of sewer defects that may need repairs. Sewer system defects allow rainwater and debris to infiltrate the sewer system. This raises the cost of wastewater treatment for the entire community and increases the risk of sewage overflows during storms. This smoke testing is part of GIWA’s continuing effort to provide a safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound sewer system for Gasparilla Island.
If you have any questions concerning this upcoming testing, contact GIWA at 964-2423.View More images >>
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