Smoke Testing

Smoke testing is part of the sewer maintenance program in the City of Whitewater.  Testing will begin the week of July 13, 2020.  In case of inclement weather, testing will continue into the following week, or until completed.  

Those affected by this testing will be residents and/or businesses north of W. Main Street, between N. Tratt Street and N. Fremont Street. City crews will also be working in the Water’s Edge neighborhood, south and east of Wisconsin Street.  Letters were mailed to residents affected by the testing in early July.    

An important task of the testing will be to locate breaks and defects in the sewer system. Smoke testing consists of placing a blower on top of a sanitary sewer manhole and forcing “smoke” down into the sewer system. The smoke, under pressure from the blower, travels through the sewer system and escapes through any connection, crack, leak, etc., along the way.

During the test you may see smoke coming from vent stacks on buildings or from holes in the ground.  Don’t be alarmed. The smoke used for this testing is non-toxic and non-hazardous and is manufactured specifically for this purpose. It leaves no residue or stains, and has no effect on plants or animals.

Smoke should not enter your home; however, if it does, please note the location of the smoke and notify a member of the smoke testing crew working in your area by practicing social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet. This smoke could be an indication of a defect in your plumbing system. This defect could allow sewer gases to enter inside your home, which is a potential health hazard. Corrections of such defects on private property are the responsibility of the property owner, and a licensed plumber should be consulted to ensure the proper corrections are made.

Please perform the following tasks to reduce the ability for smoke to enter your home:

  • You do not need to be home, but you may want to leave a window slightly ajar to promote ventilation in your home.
  • Make sure all drain traps and plumbing fixtures have water in them. Therefore, fill drains (such as basement floor drains, unused sinks, etc.) with water by running the faucet for 30 to 60 seconds or filling the drain with approximately one gallon of water. This will fill the plumbing trap and prevent entry of smoke. Prepare drains as soon as you receive this smoke testing notice. This only needs to be done once before testing begins.

Please notify us before Friday, July 10, 2020, if you have any of the following situations:

  • Individuals with respiratory problems and are unable to leave.
  • Elderly persons who will be alone and might be alarmed or confused if they see smoke.

We appreciate your patience and understanding and will make every effort to minimize the inconvenience or disruptions this project may have on you. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding smoke testing, please call 262-473-0560. You will also find additional information on the front page of our website https://www.whitewater-wi.gov/1, including FAQs, a map with the specific testing area, and other helpful information.





Smoke Testing Images

Diagram 2 TEST
SmokeTesting CREW
Roof vent smoke expl. 2