Lawrence begins smoke testing sewer pipes in Indian Hills area

Kyle Forsythe, left, and Robby Hartpence, both field technicians for TREKK Design Group LLC, Kansas City, Mo., participate in a city sewer system test demonstration using smoke on Sept. 3, 2013. The test involved filling the sewer system, which may cause smoke to come out of manhole covers or even the roof vents of peoples' homes. That may cause people to mistakenly think their house is on fire.

The City of Lawrence will be testing sewer pipes for leaks in the Indian Hills neighborhood for the next several weeks.

Starting this week, the city will be working with TREKK Design Group to blow the smoke, which is nontoxic and odorless, into sewer pipes to document where smoke escapes the system and repairs may be needed, according to a city news release.

The testing will take place in and near the Indian Hills neighborhood in southeast Lawrence. Testing will be conducted between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. each weekday and is expected to be completed by Oct. 30. Individual properties affected by the smoke testing will receive a door hanger approximately 48 hours in advance that will provide more information about when the testing will occur.

Defective plumbing or drains could cause the smoke to enter buildings; however, the city advises that the smoke creates no fire hazard and is not harmful to people or pets. It is normal for smoke to come out of roof vents. Residents may open windows to clear the smoke or pour water into rarely used floor or other drains to reduce the chance of smoke entering buildings. If assistance is needed, residents should notify the field technicians who are conducting the test.

Additional information is available by calling Municipal Services and Operations customer service at 785-832-7800.

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