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City conducting sewer line tests

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The City of Powell River is testing out its sewer lines.

In a notice to residents, it was noted that crews will be conducting infiltration testing of the sanity sewer lines in the Cranberry and Townsite neighborhoods.

The work begins this week. The main purpose is to find sources where storm water is infiltrating the sanitary sewer system, according to the notice.

The process will see low pressure pumping of special non-toxic smoke into manholes on the streets. That forces smoke into homeowners’ sewer service line.

The City said that smoke should not enter into a homeowner’s residence unless there is a leak due to improper or damaged plumbing.

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Smoke might also enter into a home if the traps in sinks or drains do not have any standing water in them.

“If you have a bathroom, sink or drain that does not get used very often, we advise that you run some water through them to fill up the drains to minimize the potential of smoke entering your residence,” read the notice.

“In a properly designed home, the smoke will exit the sewer vent located on the roof of the home. If there is a connection to the storm sewer, the smoke will be noticed exiting the eaves troughs or drainage grates on the property.”

The City said that the special non-toxic smoke has a distinctive but “not unpleasant” odor. Visibility and odor only last for a few minutes, where there is adequate ventilation. The smoke does not leave any residuals or stains, and has no effect on plants or animals.

Although the smoke is harmless, some may find it irritating to breathe. Any irritation will disappear once exposure to the test has ceased.

If smoke does enter a resident’s home, they’re advised to contact workers in the area, or to call (604) 485-8657.

Workers might also visit resident’s homes to document the findings.

Further questions can be directed towards Public Works Superintendent Murray Steer at (604) 485-8659.

A full overview of the project, including safety tips, can be found through the City of Powell River’s website.

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