If You See Smoking Rising Out Of Sewers In Peterborough That Is Only A Test

The City of Peterborough has announced in a release they are conducting a sewer smoke testing program the next couple months.

The backstory is this: They are working with Cole Engineering Group Ltd. on an Inflow and Infiltration Reduction study. The study’s objectives are to identify sources of rain water entering the sanitary sewers and to develop a plan to reduce these flows.

The sanitary sewer system collects wastewater produced by houses, businesses, and industries and directs it to the treatment plant where the water is treated before being discharged into the river. Inflow and infiltration occurs when rain and ground water enters the sanitary sewers through cracks or holes in the pipe network or other connections such as catch basins or roof downspouts. This increased volume reduces the capacity of the sanitary sewer pipe network and the treatment plant. This also increases the risk of overloading the pipe network and potential basement flooding.

To identify sources of inflow and infiltration, Cole Engineering is conducting the sewer smoke testing program throughout July and August. The smoke test consists of blowing a harmless coloured vapour into City sewer manholes and pipes and observing where the smoke exits from the system. The smoke is expected to exit primarily out of manholes on the street and the sewer plumbing stack at the top of your house. It is also possible for smoke to exit stormwater catch basins and downspouts on your house. The smoke used in the test has no odour, isn’t harmful to your health, and will disappear after a few minutes.

Residents in affected areas will receive a detailed fact sheet prior to the commencement of testing.


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