City of Saline Begins Smoke Testing in Sanitary Sewers


The City of Saline inspection crews will be conducting a physical survey of the Saline sanitary sewer system from August 30 through November 15.

The study will consist of opening and entering manholes in the streets and easements. One of the most important tasks in this study will be smoke testing. Smoke testing is a process of injecting artificially produced smoke into sectioned off pipeline segments to identify breaks in the lines.

“This process is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to locate defects in the main sewer line and service laterals that connect to a residence,“ said City Manager Colleen O’Toole, “with wet weather coming this fall and winter, we want to make sure our sanitary sewer systems are not overburdened when there is extra water and runoff in the line.”

Smoke should not enter your home during this process but in some cases, it may enter through a dry drain trap or some plumbing defect. The smoke used is not harmful to you, your pets, or household plants and will not stain furniture, clothes, or drapery. If smoke does enter your home, open a window to allow it to escape. To avoid smoke entering through a dry drain trap residents are encouraged to pour water down any infrequently used traps ahead of testing.

“If you do notice smoke coming into your house, try to locate the origin of the smoke. Crews performing the test are also on hand to help and answer questions in these situations. Please do not hesitate to flag a crew member for assistance. If you have any concerns that the smoke is not related to nearby testing call 9-1-1,” said O’Toole.

Directly impacted residents will be notified when testing is due in their area by way of a door hanger.

Information will also be posted on the City's website and social media as the project progresses. An initial map with zones is available now. Each zone will take one to two weeks to complete. The entire project is expected to last just over two months. Questions about the project can be directed to City Manager O'Toole at

See a detailed map by loading this PDF.

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