Opelousas to begin smoke testing on Sunday

Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 18:33:54-04

The City of Opelousas will begin conducting smoke testing on the sanitary sewer lines from April 15, 2018 to May 1, 2018.

City of Opelousas Public Works Department and personnel from the Louisiana Rural Water Association will be conducting smoke testing on the sanitary sewer lines in various parts of the City of Opelousas.  Updates and smoke testing area locations will be provided as the project progresses.

The City of Opelousas is conducting smoke testing to:

  • Locate sewer defects before they become more serious.
  • Reduce quantity and severity of sewer backups.
  • Reduce costs of added sewer cleaning and treatment due to defects.
  • Better understand sewer connections within the system.

According to a release from the City, the testing involves forcing nontoxic, harmless smoke through the sanitary sewers. Where there are leaks, crews  will see smoke.  The smoke that you (the public) will see coming from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground:

  • is non-toxic, non-staining,
  • has no odor,
  • white to gray in color
  • and creates no fire hazard.

The City of Opelousas and the LRWA will notify residents before we begin working in their neighborhood.  The testing does not require the field crews to enter homes, and residents do not need to be home during the testing. LRWA and City of Opelousas personnel will be identified with uniforms and badges. 

The smoke should not enter your building unless you have defective plumbing or dry drain traps. While we have no reason to expect difficulties, we wanted to make you (the public) aware of the upcoming activities. Your patience and cooperation are very much appreciated.

Steps You Can Take to Assist with the Tests and Limit Smoke inside Your Home:

  • The smoke should not enter buildings unless leaks or plumbing defects exist.
  • To prevent smoke from rising out of appropriately-connected drains inside your home, please make sure that traps for all basement floor drains and other sink traps and plumbing fixtures are full of water by pouring approximately 24 ounces of water in each drain before the scheduled test.
  • Water should be added every 2-3 days during the testing dates stated at the beginning of this notice.
  • Smoke may be visible from your downspout (gutters), which means they are connected to the sanitary sewer system, no need to be alarmed.

What if you get smoke in your house?

Should you detect smoke in your building:

  • The room should be ventilated through an open window or door.
  • While the smoke is harmless, if you believe you might experience irritation of the respiratory system, leave the area and ventilate well to dissipate the smoke.
  • The smoke is designed to dissipate within 30 minutes and should not damage your belongings.
  • Please notify the field technicians who are conducting the test should smoke enters your building.