Smoke Testing

Smoke Test

Sewer Inspection Program

The City of Eugene Public Works Department investigates sanitary sewer line segments in Eugene using closed circuit television, dyed water and isolated smoke testing. These three techniques allows staff to pinpoint defects and improper connections that caused stormwater runoff and groundwater to enter the public wastewater collection system. 

Smoke Test Description

Smoke tests, which are endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nontoxic, release white smoke into sanitary sewer lines to identify problems. The smoke does not harm plants or animals and quickly dissipates leaving no residue or stains. Residents are notified by door hangers one or two days before testing begins in their neighborhood.

After smoke is blown into a sewer line, crew members use closed circuit television cameras inside the sewer system to see where smoke is exiting the public system. White smoke rising from the ground generally indicates a crack or other defects in a sewer line.