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The City is Testing Sanitary Sewers on the East Side

Two Phases: Sewer Smoke Testing & Manhole Inspection

The City is testing its sanitary sewer system to identify faulty lines or connections where water runoff from rain or snow melts may enter the system or where sewer gases may escape. The testing is required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and includes two phases: Smoke Testing and Manhole Inspection. The testing will take place on the east side of the City, near Smith Road & Main Street. All affected residences and businesses will be notified prior to testing. Signs also will be posted in the neighborhoods being tested. RMS Utility Services of McHenry, Ill., is the City’s contractor for this project.

Sanitary Sewer Testing Information and Schedule

Phase I: Smoke Testing – Oct. 14 to 25

Smoke testing pushes air combined with liquid smoke into sewer lines to disclose the location of leaks and faulty connections to the sanitary sewer system. The smoke is non-toxic, and safe for humans and pets. It is similar to the special effects smoke used in concerts and haunted houses. During the test, smoke may be seen coming from vent stacks on the roof and out of the ground.

Smoke will not enter homes or buildings unless the plumbing is defective or drain traps are dry. The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, non-staining, does not create a fire hazard, and will dissipate in a few minutes. Pouring water into any floor drains and into any unused sinks prior to the test will seal the drain traps so smoke will not enter through the drains.

Phase II: Manhole Inspections – Oct. 25 to Oct. 31

Manholes are inspected with 360-degree imaging. There will be no interruption to sanitary sewer service during the test. Residents may notice the contractor’s vans parked outside and workers lowering imaging equipment into manholes. Some of the city-owned manholes are in the backyards; crews will be entering yards to complete these inspections.

For more information, contact Public Works at 630.377.4405.

updated Nov 11, 2019