Smoke Testing Notice

Notice of Intent to Perform Smoke Testing on the Sanitary Sewer Mains
The Morning of October 10th, 2017

East Meadow Lane blocks 600-800 and East Wyoming blocks 600-700


Over the past several years we have experienced some extreme rainfalls events that have caused flooding both above ground in the streets and yards and underground in our sanitary sewer collection system. The amount of rainwater that is entering the sanitary sewer collection system is so great that the water volume overloads the hydraulic capacity of the sewer pipes causing back up of sewage into basements through floor drains, showers and toilets.

In efforts to locate potential sources of Infiltration and Inflow (I&I) into the sanitary sewer collection system, City Staff will be smoke testing portions of the collection system. As part of the smoke testing process, an artificial smoke is blown into the sewer system at manholes while Staff walks through the neighborhood observing where the smoke comes out. If the sanitary sewer collection system is water tight, the only place that the artificial smoke will be seen is coming out of the sewer vent on your roof. If the smoke is observed anywhere else, it means a source of I&I may have been discovered.

The artificial smoke will not enter your home if your plumbing system is up to code and all drain traps have water in them – so please dump a gallon of water down all of your drains, especially the basement floor drains and seldom used sink, bathtub and shower.

The artificial smoke is non-toxic, leaves no residue and will not stain fabric. The artificial smoke has a slight odor but smells nothing like fire generated smoke. The artificial smoke may cause some coughing and can be an irritant to people or pets with respiratory conditions. A copy of the Materials Safety Data Sheet for the liquid smoke is available for review on the City web site.
If you see or smell smoke in your house and you feel it smells like smoke from a fire – then assume the smoke is from a fire and respond accordingly.

The sanitary sewer smoke testing will only be performed on week days between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:30 pm. Any smoke observed outside of this time frame is NOT artificial smoke from the sewer testing. If the artificial smoke enters your house, open some windows, call City Hall at 507-637-5755 and go outside.

If you have mobility restrictions or respiratory health issues, please call City Hall in advance so that a staff member can be at your house at the onset of the smoke testing in your neighborhood.
Some other comments regarding the smoke testing:

  • Smoke testing will not be performed during rainy or windy conditions
  • The smoke testing in the vicinity of your house should be complete within a few hours
  • No fire or heat is put into the sanitary sewer manholes to create the artificial smoke
  •  You can run water down your drains and flush the toilet while the smoke testing is being performed

If artificial smoke enters your home then sewer gas has been entering your home also, and a licensed plumber should be called to fix the plumbing deficiency.

More information:

HURCO Liquid Smoke MSDS and Generated Smoke Test Summary

FAQ Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

Smoke Testing Area October 10th 2017

For weather related announcements, please visit the
KLGR Website