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Posted on: April 21, 2022

SEWER LINE SMOKE TESTING IN A PORTION OF AB ON THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Originally scheduled for April 21, the project between East Coast Drive and Sherry Drive to include Sixth, Seventh & Eighth streets, is back on the calendar for April 28.  The impacted residents have been notified of the rescheduled date. 

Smoke testing consists of forcing “smoke” into the sewer system, enabling the City to check for cracks, broken pipes, and leaking pipe joints where groundwater and/or stormwater could enter into the system’s mains. Smoke MAY enter homes if there are leaks or cracks in the plumbing system. If this happens, the smoke has a very distinct odor, and should only last a few minutes with proper ventilation. 

The vapor, under pressure from a blower, travels through the sewer system and escapes through any connection, cracks, leaks, home vent stacks, etc., along the way. Leakage has the potential to overwhelm the city’s sanitary sewer system, and issues that have occurred during significant rainfall prompted this localized testing. Notices are provided at each of the impacted residences. It is recommended that all drains have water in them by running water in all sinks for 30-60 seconds ib the day of the smoke testing. The vapor used for smoke testing is non-toxic and non-hazardous and is manufactured specifically for this purpose. It leaves no residue or stains, and it has no effect on plants or animals. Please see the FAQs and area map regarding Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing at www.coab.us/smoketest

We appreciate our residents' patience and will make every effort to minimize the inconvenience this testing may cause. Questions? Call Chris Walker, Department of Public Utilities Distribution/Collection Operations Manager at (904) 247-5886; or email info@coab.us. 

Check out this video on smoke-testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8Clh7zId2A&t=3s


Here is the smoke testing map


Here are smoke testing FAQs

What exactly is a Smoke Test? The crew will use a high capacity blower technique to test the sewer line with smoke. Smoke blowers are placed on manholes and smoke is blown through the sewer system to identify possible cracks or holes in the sewer system lines. 

How will residents know when Smoke Testing will be performed in their neighborhood? Prior to beginning the smoke testing, the City of Atlantic Beach Utilities Department will give notices to all homes/buildings in the area to be smoke tested at least 24 to 48 hours in advance.. 

Is the smoke that is used hazardous? The smoke that comes out is non-toxic and harmless. It does not create a fire hazard. 

Does the resident need to be home when the Smoke Testing is performed? Homeowners do not need to be home during the testing. Crews will only be identifying areas in streets and yards for any escaping smoke. 

What do I need to do to prepare for the Smoke Testing? 

Drains should have water run through them prior to testing, by running the faucet for 30 seconds the day of the test. No additional preparations are required. 

What should I do if smoke enters my home? 

Smoke should not enter your building, but if it does, it has a very distinct odor and will only last a few minutes with proper ventilation. Smoke entering your home could be an indication of a defect in your plumbing system, and homeowners may want to contact a licensed plumber. 

Because the plumbing appliances in your house or building are connected to the sanitary sewer system, some smoke may enter your home or place of business if the: • Vents connected to your building's sewer pipes are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed. • Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers, and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed, or missing. • Pipes, connections and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your buildings are damaged, defective, have plugs missing, or are improperly installed.

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