Identify and Quantify Inflow Sources with Smoke Testing

Smoke testing will identify inflow sources and most restrictive conditions within the sewer lines. In order to identify defects in the lines, the non-toxic smoke will be forced into the sewer. During the smoke test, breaks in the sewer will allow the smoke to escape. Ordinarily, one line segment upstream and downstream of the manhole will be tested at one time.

Smoke testing of a sewer system identifies and quantifies inflow sources.  This procedure includes simultaneously testing sewer mains and services lines using a specially-designed smoke blower to force a non-toxic smoke into the sewer system.  Every defect is referenced to at least two permanent points and a schematic drawing giving detailed directions is completed and included in the final report.  Videotapes or photographs are made of all located problems and referenced in the final report to aid the rehabilitation contractor.  An extensive public relations program is undertaken prior to testing to notify local residents, the fire department, and public officials of the procedure.

A successful program of smoke testing includes several key components:

  • Equipment: Smoke testing blowers that have a minimum capacity of 1,500 cfm, are utilized.
  • Staff and Safety: ADS manages the industry’s most rigorous field training program with all personnel properly certified in confined space entry, CPR, traffic control, and general field safety procedures.
  • Communication and Public Response: The public notification program will provide adequate and advance warning to residential, commercial, and industrial properties along with local fire departments.
  • Quality Control: Through ISO 9001-approved quality control procedures, ADS maintains a complete quality control program through all phases of SSES projects.  All located severe defects including storm drain connections, are immediately reported to our clients.