Smoke Testing on Pipes in Happy Valley

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Clackamas Water Environment Services will be conducting leak detection tests on the pipes of the sanitary sewer system in the City of Happy Valley in mid-October. 

Smoke tests are performed by pumping a special non-toxic, non-staining smoke into the sewer lines to detect leaks in our pipes. The smoke is odorless and creates no fire hazard. If there is a crack or break anywhere in the pipeline, the smoke will rise to the surface and the crew can visually see the location where repairs are needed.

Water from rain events or naturally occurring groundwater can seep into pipes that are broken or cracked, adding to the flow of water going to the wastewater treatment facility or exceeding the capacity of the system causing raw sewage to overflow to the Clackamas River. Keeping this rain and ground water out of our pipes reduces overflows to the rivers while also saving significant costs in sewer operations and maintenance.

During the brief test procedure, you may expect to see small volumes of test smoke coming from neighboring roof vents or system manholes, etc. The smoke should not enter your home or place of business unless there is some form of defective plumbing or you have dried up drain traps. However, we ask that you pour three (3) or four (4) cups of water into all sink, shower, and floor drains the day before the test. The notice you receive prior to the test will repeat these instructions.

There will be no reason for any member of the testing firm to enter your residence during the test .

Although the smoke used in the testing is harmless, if, during the test, smoke does enter your home or business, please contact the outside field crews working in your area; they will help you find the leak and help prevent further incidence of smoke entering the building.

If you have any further questions about the smoke testing program, please contact the Project Engineer, Dana Devin-Clarke at 503-941-0656.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.