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Sanitary sewer system smoke testing in Harewood

Beginning Monday, August 15, 2022, City crews will be conducting sanitary storm sewer testing in the Harewood neighbourhood (between Bruce Ave, Seventh St, Sixth St and Park Ave) using smoke to detect if anything other than wastewater is entering the sewer system.

Smoke testing is an efficient and cost-effective way to inspect the sewer system and works by having crews position a blower at a manhole and blowing smoke down into it. If there are any openings, some of the smoke will escape and be visible from holes in the ground or vent stacks on houses.

Please note, the smoke is not toxic and harmless to humans, pets, food and materials. Smoke that gets into buildings dissipates quickly and leaves no residue or stains. Smoke of any kind may be irritating to the nasal passages for some people. If you experience smoke irritation it should be temporary and quickly disappear after exposure has ceased.  

Homes within the area where the smoke testing will take place have been notified. If you received a letter from the City regarding smoke testing, please make sure all traps under sinks and drains, including floor drains, have water in them.   This can be done by pouring 3 cups of water in them or running the water for 60 seconds. This will help prevent smoke from entering your home. If you are not going to be home during the smoke testing it would be a good idea to leave several windows partially open, especially if you have pets at home.

If you notice the odourless smoke in your home during testing please immediately notify the crew in the area, or contact Public Works at 250-758-5222.

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