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Since 1972, we have provided hands-on technical expertise for municipal inflow/infiltration (I/I) studies, sewer system evaluation studies (SSES), and the design of cost-effective sewer rehabilitation programs for more than 50 municipalities. Whether achieving municipal compliance with regulatory requirements or proactively implementing local initiatives, designed to reduce pumping and treatment costs, sanitary sewer overflows and basement backups, our experience assisting municipalities with sewer rehabilitation programs is unmatched.

Our in-house investigative capabilities include flow monitoring and data analysis, manhole inspections, smoke testing, dyed water flood testing, sewer televising video analysis, and building inspections. We have multiple staff members that are certified through the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO). Our sophisticated data processing capabilities allow inspection data to be seamlessly integrated into Geographic Information System (GIS) platforms, which can provide powerful information management for community staff members responsible for utility system operations and maintenance. We have been a pioneer in the evaluation and use of innovative trenchless technologies to rehabilitate structurally deficient sewers, manholes, and lift station components contributing I/I to sanitary sewer systems. While traditional excavation and replacement techniques remain in our design toolbox, the cost-effectiveness and efficiencies of trenchless technologies have proven advantages.

Key Services

  • Sewer System Evaluation Studies (SSES)

  • Flow Monitoring

  • Manhole Inspections

  • Smoke Testing

  • Dyed Water Flood Testing

  • Sewer Televising

  • Internal and External Property Inspections

  • Sewer System Modeling

  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

  • Mainline, Manhole, and Lateral Sewer Rehabilitation Design and Construction

  • Emergency Response Projects

  • Annual Operation and Maintenance Programs

  • Private Sector Programs

  • Regulatory Compliance

  • GIS Database Management

  • GPS Locating

  • New Product Evaluation 

  • What is smoke testing?
    Smoke testing is a cost-effective method to find defects that contribute infiltration and inflow (I&I) in a sanitary sewer system. Using high powered smoke blowers, a mixture of air and non-toxic smoke is forced through the system. Where smoke is visibly seen leaving the system, those locations are documented as potential I&I sources.
  • Why is smoke testing necessary?
    Smoke testing is necessary to find deficiencies in the sanitary sewer system that allow infiltration and inflow (I&I) into the sanitary sewer system, contributing to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), basement backups (BBs), the loss of sewer system capacity and increasing costs for wastewater conveyance and treatment. The impact of this work is expected to have minimal disruption for residents and will provide benefit for all sewer system users.
  • Is the smoke harmful?
    No, the liquid smoke we use in smoke testing is specially formulated to be non-toxic and non-staining, and it is not harmful in the presence of humans. It also poses no fire hazard.
  • How will I be informed of smoke testing?
    In advance of testing, you’ll be notified with letters, door hangers and provided web links to additional info and FAQ’s. Signage will also be posted at work locations and daily email/phone calls will be sent to emergency services and utility owners. Our goal is that the residents will be informed well in advance of testing and that much of the disruption to residents can be minimized. This service can even be helpful to residents and aid in identifying and locating defects within their own internal plumbing.
  • Will smoke enter my house?
    Smoke should not enter your home unless you have faulty plumbing fixtures, dry p-traps or improper connections to the sanitary sewer. Dry p-traps can be found in sinks, floor drains and showers. Illegal connections include basement footing tiles, diverter valves, combination sumps and storm water sump pumps connected improperly to the sanitary sewer.
  • What should I do if I get smoke in my house?
    If smoke does enter your building, please feel free to call the number on the information letter and/or door tag notice and we can help address any concerns.
  • Will the fire department come to my house?
    If you call 911, the fire department will show up at your residence, but they have already been informed of the smoke testing in your area and will be able to assist you in locating any locations in the building where smoke is entering.
  • What do I need to do to be ready for smoke testing?
    To be ready for smoke testing, keep any smoke testing notices handy with phone numbers to call just in case. You can also fill all drains in the household with a gallon of water. This is to prevent dry drain traps where the water in the drain can evaporate over time allowing sewer odors into the home. Plumbers recommend pouring water down drains at least once a month. This is especially important if you have drains that aren’t frequently used. Pouring water down all your drains will help prevent smoke from coming into your home.

Smoke Testing FAQ

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