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On Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning in July, the City of Sequim Public Works Department will resume testing the sanitary sewers with smoke to find defects, breaks, leaks, and faulty connections in the sewer system. The tests will start at the Cedar Ridge pump station off of Water View Drive. The crew will test the lines north of Highway 101 heading west until they reach North Blake Avenue. Later this summer, tests will be run in the Jeannie’s Meadow neighborhood north of Washington Street and west of Priest Road. The City began the smoke testing program in 2012.
Neighborhoods and individual properties will be notified in advance when smoke testing will take place in their specific area. Residents should look for a bright pink door hanger and green and blue A-frame board signs in their neighborhood with the specific dates for testing in their vicinity.
Testing involves opening manholes and filling the sewer lines with non-toxic smoke. During the tests residents may see smoke coming from vent stacks on buildings or from holes in the ground such as manhole covers, storm drains and building foundations. If residents see smoke, there is no need for alarm. The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, non-staining, does not create a fire hazard, and will dissipate in a few minutes. There is no need for the testing crew to enter any homes or building.
The Public Works Department recommends that residents flush all toilets and run water down all sinks, tubs, and laundry drains before the first day of the testing period to make sure that all drain traps contain enough water to prevent smoke from entering the building through the drains.
If residents see smoke in their building, they should open the doors and windows to ventilate the premises and to clear smoke. Simulated smoke will not stain walls or furniture and it will not leave a residue. Simulated smoke is not harmful to your health, but may cause some coughing. Smoke irritation is temporary and should disappear after exposure has ceased. When possible avoid unnecessary exposure to simulated smoke.
The chemical make-up of the smoke compound can be found on the City of Sequim website www.sequimwa.gov or by contacting the Public Works Department at 683-4908.
If residents do see smoke in their building, they should consult a licensed plumber in the near future to identify the smoke access area, as the potential exists for sewer gasses to enter the building in the same manner
If you experience smoke in your house or from vents in your home and did not have a flier on your door or A-frame sign visible on your block, call 911.
At any time during these tests, feel free to ask questions of the Public Works employees conducting the test in your neighborhood.
The Clallam County Fire District, 911 Dispatch and City Police will be notified of the testing and will be updated throughout the test period of testing locations.
Prior to the testing, please notify Pete Tjemsland or Public Works if there is an individual in your building, business or residents who has respiratory problems and/or mobility limitations.
For questions about the sanitary sewer smoke testing, please contact Public Works Utilities Manager Pete Tjemsland at 360-683-4908 or firstname.lastname@example.org