Monday, April 23, 2012

Durham Performs “Smoke Tests” on Sewer Lines Throughout May

DURHAM, N.C. — If you notice small amounts of smoke rising from drains and manhole lids over the next few weeks, don’t be alarmed. The City of Durham Water Management Department is conducting smoke tests on City sewer lines, which will continue through May.

“The main focus of this project is to locate defects in the City’s sewer system, which is one maintenance component of the sewer infrastructure,” said Jerry Morrone, engineering manager for the City’s Water Management Department. “Smoke may rise at any point where there is a defect in the sewer line, including yards, stream banks, storm drains, and manhole lids. The smoke is non-toxic, will not stain anything, nor does it create a fire hazard. It may have a slight odor,” he said.

According to the Water Management Department, smoke may also enter homes or businesses through plumbing pipes. Smoke testing begins today near Duke University including Duke University Road, Morehead Avenue, Anderson Street, Markham Avenue, Academy Road, Gattis Street, and Pinecrest Road and will continue in this area through Friday, May 4.

As the smoke testing occurs during May, residents and businesses will receive notices prior to testing in their area.

For information about the smoke testing, visit or contact Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200.

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