Herrin notifies residents of upcoming "smoke testing" - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Herrin notifies residents of upcoming "smoke testing"

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HERRIN, Ill. -- In an effort to save money and keep underground pipes in good condition, Herrin will be pumping smoke into sewer pipes. The process helps crews find breaks or defects in the pipes and schedule repairs. 

Crews will begin the smoke testing on Wednesday and the city is making sure residents know not to be alarmed. The smoke isn't harmful but could potentially enter homes if there's a problem with the pipe. 
That could alert homeowners of potential dangers such as un-capped sewage lines. 

A crew will use a device to inject smoke into sewer manholes then watch to see if smoke escapes through the ground or through storm drains.

"If everything is working properly, smoke won't be coming into any residences or up out throughout the yard or anything like that," said Mayor Steve Frattini. 

Mayor Frattini says smoke may come from the vent stacks but if a homeowner notices smoke INSIDE the home, they need to get out and notify the city. The smoke isn't toxic but it indicates a leak and if smoke gets in, other gases could be getting inside as well.  The smoke can enter your home because of a defective pipe or because of dried up drain traps. That's why the mayor asks everyone to do this if you have floor drains. 

"Just make sure all your drains have had about a gallon of water through them," said Frattini. 

Frattini says another goal of the testing is to keep storm water out of sewer lines and save money at the waste water treatment facility. 

"With that extra volume in there, it requires additional chemical treatment," said Frattini. He adds that's an additional cost to the city.  

The smoke test will also notify crews of illegal taps on the sanitary system. 

"Such as a sump pump in a basement. That is to be discharged back to the environment, not into the sanitary sewer system," said Frattini.  

If violations are encountered, you'll be notified and be given 30 days to fix them. 

Again, testing begins Wednesday and is expected to take three to five days to complete. 

Below are a list of neighborhoods that will be smoke tested: 

1) West Monroe St. from 19th Street to Railroad Tracks. 
2) 19th and 20th Streets from Monroe Street to W. Herrin Street. 
3) 17th Street from Ash Street to Van Buren Street
4) 18th Street from Van Buren Street to W. Herrin Street
5) All of the Montebello Estates Subdivision
6) All of the Cox Addition Subdivision 
7) 3rd Street from Herrin Street to Carrol Street
8) Carrol Street from 3rd St. to 7th Street near the City Park. 

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