This week, the town of Flower Mound will conduct a smoke test on a portion of its sanitary sewer system.
The work begins Tuesday and is expected to last four weeks in the areas of Wellington East and North and Garden Ridge North, according to a town news release. Civil engineering consultant firm RJN Group will be accessing manholes to “smoke test” sewer pipes and locate possible defects in the system.
Smoke testing is a non-invasive technique that simulates how rainfall and groundwater can get into the sewer system. On the day of your neighborhood’s smoke testing, uniformed RJN inspectors will open manhole covers and insert smoke devices into the manhole. High density blowers will blow the non-toxic smoke through the sewer pipes. As the smoke travels through the system, it will exit through homes’ vent stacks or in locations where there are problems. Crews look for areas where smoke is rising through the ground, which signals a location where rain or groundwater is getting into the system through cracked pipes or root intrusions, or identifies locations where there may be failing or unnecessary connections to the sewer system.
The smoke, which is harmless and creates no fire hazard, should not enter residents’ homes unless there is defective plumbing or dried-up drains traps. If you have seldom-used drains, please pour water in the drain to fill the trap, preventing smoke from entering. Drain traps should always be filled with water to prevent sewer gases and odors from entering the building.
If smoke does enter a home through this process, it indicates a potential for sewer gases to also enter a home, and a licensed plumber should be consulted to resolve the problem, according to the town. Some sewer lines and manholes may be located in backyards. RJN inspection crews will need access to the sewer lines and manholes and will be wearing uniforms and badges. There will be no need for workers to enter businesses or residences at any time.
The information gathered during this study will be used to improve the Flower Mound sewer system by preventing unwanted water from entering the defects in piping, manholes, and unauthorized connections.
For more information, contact the Flower Mound Public Works Department at 972-874-6400 during normal working hours or the Flower Mound Police Department’s non-emergency line at 972-539-0525 after-hours.