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Village of Pelham
Thursday December 2nd, 2021 :: 12:43 p.m. EST


Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

The Village of Pelham is in the process of conducting a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study to determine locations where excess rainwater and groundwater, also known as inflow and infiltration (I&I), maybe entering the sewer pipes and manholes. Smoke testing, described in more detail below, is used to identify such defects.

Smoke testing, which will occur on a street-by-street basis with advance notification to each neighborhood in the testing area, involves releasing a non-toxic and non-staining smoke into several manholes, which then travels through the sanitary sewer system and helps to detect breaks, leaks, and other deficiencies. During testing, smoke may be observed discharging from various sources, including roof vents, building foundations, the ground, catch basins, and other locations. Smoke will not enter your home under most circumstances; however, smoke may enter one’s home if any of the following types of plumbing system deficiencies are present:

  Vents connected to your home’s sewer pipes are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed;

 • Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers, or other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed, or missing; or

  Pipes, connections, and/or wastewater drain system seals are damaged, defective, improperly installed, or missing plugs.

Please note that smoke entering a home in the testing area is an indication that the underlying plumbing problem has also likely been allowing sanitary sewer gases and odors to enter the house, potentially contributing to unpleasant odors and, under certain circumstances, unhealthy living conditions. Thus, smoke testing not only helps us to identify and remediate problems with the Village’s sewer infrastructure but may also help you by identifying private plumbing system problems requiring your attention.

Testing will occur Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, with each street taking roughly one day to complete. Your presence is not required during the testing. Once a notice has been posted in your neighborhood, smoke testing on your street will occur within 48 to 72 hours. Severe weather, weekends, or holidays may extend the testing beyond the 72-hour time frame.

Please contact the field crew performing the smoke testing on your street if you encounter smoke in or around your home during the testing period. As a precautionary measure, it is also advised that anyone with respiratory or cardiovascular conditions vacate any home where smoke has entered.

If you observe smoke but are not in a testing area, as indicated by the notices in your neighborhood and the crews present on the street, please call 911.

For any other general questions or concerns, please contact the Villages Project Engineer Lenny Meyerson at (914)-631-8600 or email at [email protected]. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Village of Pelham
34 Fifth Ave
Village of Pelham, NY 10803

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