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Smoke Testing of Sanitary Sewers
Smoke testing of the Chesapeake's sanitary sewers is a preventive maintenance program implemented to identify sources of infiltration and inflow that can enter the gravity piping serving the City of Chesapeake's citizens.
Public Utilities uses this identification to schedule correction of the defects that are discovered in the public right of way by City personnel and bring
Typical defects include missing or broken plugs on
Public Utilities will put door hanger notices on the doors of all the properties that will be involved in the test. The tags include the date of the test, contact information for questions and concerns, and the answers to frequently asked questions. These notices are placed at least three working days prior to the day of the smoke test date. The schedule is yet to be determined.
On the day of the smoke test Police and Fire dispatch is notified of the smoke testing site. Customers may see smoke exiting out of manholes in the street and sewer vents from the tops of houses. If smoke is discovered coming out anywhere else there is a defect in the plumbing. The test is performed by City employees wearing City uniforms and carrying City of Chesapeake identification making inspections from the street after smoke is generated into the gravity system at a manhole. As defects are discovered pictures are taken of the defect site and defect forms are filled out by the employees. Several blocks are tested at a time with each set up taking 20-30 minutes. Test are completed on entire neighborhoods in a single day moving block to block. Customers may speak to employees on site during the test providing information or asking questions or they may call the phone number listed on the bright green smoke test notice.
Several days after the smoke test has been performed, door hanger Notice of defects that were discovered at homes or businesses will be placed on their doors containing a description of the defect discovered, the defect form filled out at the time of the smoke test and a picture of the defect taken during the test. It is much appreciated when discovering a defect that a call be made to the contact number on the Smoke Test Notice and let Public Utilities know.
The City's goal is to smoke test 10% of the gravity sewer pump station service areas per year to fulfill a ten year cycle of smoke testing all the gravity sanitary sewers in the City. Public Utilities has completed two full cycles of smoke testing and are working on the third.