Austin Water regularly performs sewer system smoke testing throughout the City of Austin to help locate defects and improve the sanitary sewer services.
Smoke Testing Process
Smoke testing only takes a few hours, and forces smoke filled air into the sanitary sewer system. The smoke is non-toxic, odorless, and fills the sewer line and only escapes to the surface if there are any defects in the sanitary sewer system that need repair.
Notification of Smoke Testing
- Door hangers will be distributed to give you information on the smoke testing process and contact information for questions or concerns. Re-notifications will be sent 2-3 days before the test.
- Smoke testing is normally done between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and requires the ground be dry. Rain may delay scheduled testing.
You do not need to be home during the smoke testing. Smoke should not enter your home or building (unless there is a leak or seldom used drains). The liquid smoke used is non-toxic, odorless, non-staining and is not a fire hazard.
- Does anyone in your home or business have breathing problems or are they mobility impaired?
- Before Austin Water begins the smoke testing, call Austin Water Dispatch at 512-972-1000, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Have floor drains or toilets not been used in a while?
- Pour at least 3 cups of water in them a day before the test to keep smoke out.
- Want to take some extra precautions?
- Tie a damp rag around the drain opening of your washing machine to prevent smoke from entering around the drain pipe.
What if smoke gets into your home or building
Do not panic. Contact Austin Water Dispatch at 512-972-1000 to report smoke in your home. Austin Water Dispatch is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Open a window or turn on a fan in the room where the smoke is present and leave the area for 10 to 15 minutes or until smoke has cleared. The smoke should disappear within a few minutes and leave no residue. We recommend that you then call a plumber to find the leak and repair it.
Will my Austin Water services be interrupted?
I have pets. Will the smoke bother them?
There are elderly in the house with medical equipment. Will it harm them?
Will the smoke leave an odor in my house?
Is the smoke harmful?
Do you have a Safety Data Sheet on the Liquid Smoke that is used?
For more information or questions, contact Austin Water Dispatch at 512-972-1000, open 24-7. If anyone in your home or business has breathing problems or is mobility impaired, please call Austin Water Dispatch at 512-972-1000 before Austin Water begins the smoke testing.