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The City treats a large amount of “clear water” that does not require treatment. This water enters the system through deficiencies or improper connections. High volumes can overwhelm the existing system and cause basement backups, sanitary sewer overflows, quality of treatment concerns and increased operational costs.
Smoke testing is a means to locate areas of concern in the system. A liquid smoke product is vaporized and forced into a length of sanitary sewer pipe that has been temporarily plugged on either end. Air pressure carrying the smoke product will flow into all areas that are hooked into the sanitary system. If your home is plumbed correctly, only the vent stack should show signs of smoke.
If you have a respiratory or other health conditions, you may elect to move outdoors while smoke testing is occurring. This should be no longer than 20 minutes. If there are any other special circumstances, please contact the Wastewater Utility at (262) 473-0560, prior to July 22, 2021. If you will be gone for the day and pets are home you may want to leave some windows open slightly to promote ventilation. The liquid smoke product used is non-toxic and a scientific evaluation report along with a Safety Date Sheets (SDS) is available for review on the City’s website.
If you have any unused or lightly used drains in your home please be proactive and pour approximately one (1) gallon of water down those fixtures. This will fill up the drain trap, which will prevent smoke from coming into your home. An example of this would be an old wash sink or basement floor drain.
Please contact a member of the smoke testing crew in your area to report your findings. If you are unable to contact a crew member, please call (262) 473-0560. After this, it is recommended you contact a licensed plumber to repair any deficiencies found during smoke testing. If smoke is finding its way into your home during this inspection, it means that sewer gas is also able to make its way into your home as well.
No, you do not need to be home but you may want to leave some windows open slightly to promote ventilation in your home.
Wastewater Utility staff has discussed the upcoming testing with Police and Fire Department officials. Residential homeowners and businesses in the testing area received notification by mail. Information and links have been posted via Public Service Announcement (PSA) outlets, Facebook, the City of Whitewater website and the Whitewater Banner. In addition, a notice was sent to the Whitewater Register.
A map has been created to show residents and business owners the area that will be tested.
Please direct questions to the Wastewater Utility at (262) 473-0560. Staff is available Monday-Thursday, 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.