The City’s contractor, RJN Group, will have inspection crews conducting a physical survey of the City’s sanitary sewer system using a “smoke test” beginning Tuesday, October 4 through early November. The information gained from this study will be used to improve the sewer system in keeping with state and federal regulations.
Residents in the affected areas should have received a notification that the survey would be conducted.
As part of the survey, workers will access manholes to “smoke test” sewers and locate defects in the system. The smoke is non-toxic, harmless, and creates no fire hazard; and should not enter residential homes unless defective plumbing or dried up drain traps are present.
Sewer lines and manholes may be in backyards, and members of the inspection crews will need access whenever these lines require investigation. RJN Group personnel will be identified with uniforms and badges. Homeowners do not need to be home and field crews are not required to enter your business or residence.
All survey activities are weather dependent.
How to Prepare for Smoke Testing
To prepare for smoke testing, homeowners are encouraged to pour one gallon of water into floor drains and any rarely used sinks, tubs, and toilets to ensure a water barrier is maintained in the drain traps. The drain trap water barrier prevents sewer gases or odors from entering the building.
If the drain trap water barrier is present and smoke does enter your home, this may also suggest sewer gases may be entering your home and a licensed plumber should be contacted to assess the problem.
Residents are encouraged to call the RJN Group Project Manager, Akwasi Nketia, at (630) 682-4700 ext 1322, or City of West Chicago Public Works Department at (630) 293-2255, if they have any questions about respiratory concerns or the smoke testing process.
For additional information about the survey and smoke testing, residents can visit the RJN Group’s website at https://www.rjn.com/smoke-testing-faq.