Sewer Line Smoke Testing

Starting this spring, Salt Lake City Public Utilities will be smoke testing sewer lines throughout the west side of the City. The purpose of smoke testing is to find defects in the public portion of the sanitary sewer system that could lead to high flows during storms and snow melt events.

What is Smoke Testing?

During smoke testing, field crews blow air and smoke into the sanitary sewer system in the street and monitor where smoke escapes the system. Smoke under pressure will fill the main line as well as any connections and then follow the path of any leak to the ground surface, quickly revealing the source of the defect.

How to Prepare for Smoke Testing

You will receive a door-hanger notification 1-2 days prior to smoke testing in your area. When you receive notice, you should:

  • Check to see that all drain traps under basins, washing facilities and floor drains contain water. Water in the system helps block the smoke and odor from entering the building.
  • Simply flush toilets and run or pour water into all drains, including unused fixtures and floor drains.
  • Project Notice: Click here to view the April 2017 Sewer Line Smoke Testing Flier.

    This project is part of an overall effort to upgrade and improve the sewer, water and storm drain systems. This improved infrastructure will support and foster economic development throughout Salt Lake City.

    During testing, smoke may be seen coming from roof vents, building foundations, manhole covers or yard cleanouts. This is a normal occurrence and should not be cause for alarm. Smoke coming from roof vents indicates to the crews that smoke has filled all sewers. The smoke used in testing is non-toxic, non-staining and does not create a fire hazard.

    Minor traffic impacts including shoulder work and intermittent temporary lane closures can be expected.

    Project Notice: Click here to view the April 2017 Sewer Line Smoke Testing Flier.

    Smoke Testing Begins

    Early Spring 2017

    Smoke Testing Complete

    Late Summer 2017

    SLC Public Utilities is committed to working with everyone who may be impacted by this project. We will notify residents directly before beginning work and we will be working continuously to proactively reach out to all businesses and community members. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns or to sign up for updates on the project.

    Phone: 801-721-1438