CURRENT TESTING STREET(S):
The Lake Arrowhead Community Services District uses a Smoke Testing procedure to identify deficiencies within the sewer system. Smoke testing is the fastest and most economical method for identifying breaks within sewer lines. When breaks occur, water is able to flow into the system, particularly during storms, which increases the demand on the District’s wastewater treatment plant and can overload the system.
The District has approximately 300 miles of pipeline altogether. Smoke is introduced into a limited section of pipeline. Under pressure in a confined area, the smoke will fill the main line but then also follow any and all openings to the surface, which reveals the location of faults in the system (see illustration).
During a test, residents may see smoke coming from vent stacks on buildings or from holes in the ground, which is part of the testing process. The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, is non-staining, does not create a fire hazard and clears within a few minutes. While the smoke is not harmful, residents with concerns about small animals or individuals with respiratory problems may wish to open doors and windows on the day of the test or leave the building for the day.
The smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumping or dried up drain traps. To ensure accurate test results, customers are asked to pour water into any unused sink or drain in and around their property to seal the drain traps. If the water in drain traps has evaporated, it’s possible for smoke to be pushed through that area and enter the building. However, that does not necessarily mean there is a problem.
If smoke still enters your home, you could have a defect in your system which may be allowing dangerous sewer gases to enter. If this occurs, evacuate the house immediately and notify the District at (909) 336-7100.
All smoke, even from candles, can cause irritation of breathing passages. The degree of irritation depends on the level of exposure as well as an individual’s tolerance to the smoke. Everyone, including animals, should avoid unnecessary exposure to the smoke.