Archive for Monday, August 15, 2011

City of Lawrence crews hope to smoke out where stormwater is sneaking into sewer system

August 15, 2011


Where there is smoke, there is not always fire.

Lawrence City Hall leaders are trying to get that message out this week as utility crews will be conducting tests in East Lawrence that may fill the air with smoke.

Crews on Thursday and Friday will be working between 11th and 15th streets and Delaware Street and Haskell Avenue. They will be “smoke testing” sewers, which means they’ll be injecting smoke into sewer pipes to see where there are leaks in the system.

The testing has the potential to impact residents.

“If their houses are properly vented, they will see smoke coming out of their vent pipes on their roofs,” said city spokeswoman Megan Gilliland. “We don’t want people to see that and panic.”

If your house isn’t properly vented, though, the smoke may begin flowing into your house. Jeanette Klamm, a spokeswoman for the city’s utilities department, said the smoke is not harmful.

“It is non-toxic, and there won’t be any residue or smoke smell left behind,” Klamm said. “People mainly just will need to open their windows.”

But they also may need to call a plumber to determine where their venting system is faulty. A faulty venting system could produce a build up of sewer gas in a home. Gilliland said it will be the responsibility of homeowners to have the system fixed, but she said utility crews will be in the neighborhood to answer questions. She said sometimes all that is needed to fix the situation is for a little water to be poured into a dry floor drain.

The city is conducting the test in hopes of finding out where large amounts of water is entering the sewer system. Klamm said the department has noticed the city’s sewer plant is receiving more water than usual during periods of heavy rain. If the city can find where water is entering the system, it can reduce its treatment costs at the sewer plant.

The city periodically does the smoke testing, but it has been several years since it last was used, Gilliland said.

Crews will be in the neighborhoods from about 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Crews will place doorhangars on area homes notifying residents about the upcoming tests.


tolawdjk 6 years, 3 months ago

So the new excuse for lack of waste water handling capacity is storm water?

Or did a plumber slip in a campaign contribution to drum up some business?

danriedemann 6 years, 3 months ago

Try Old West Lawrence!! Every time it rains we OWL residents with basement floor drains get raw sewage pushed up in our basements! Its about time they address this problem. The question is, once addressed, will they do anything about it considering the problems are in the historic areas of Lawrence, not Alvamar etc.

pz5g1 6 years, 3 months ago

Why not? I've seen the prices of those gorgeous OWL homes. Folks there have just as much money as many Alvamar residents, they just use it on different types of homes. And I don't begrudge either group that they can afford such mortgages.

JMG 6 years, 3 months ago

This sounds like it has potential for some particularly-entertaining outcomes Thursday and Friday. I look forward to the follow-up stories.

sad_lawrencian 6 years, 3 months ago

Uhmm I hate to be the grammar Nazi again, but... "The city is conducting the test in hopes of finding out where large amounts of water is entering..."

Do we mean, "...where large amounts of water ARE entering..."?

somedude20 6 years, 3 months ago

Smoke tests huh? Found a use for all dem hippies now they can light their reefer cigarettes and blow smoke (heck, the dope might even be tax deductible since it is being used for their jobs) or

Just have the candidates running for the republican nomination come to town and hold a debate as they are masters at blowing smoke....

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