The City of Palm Coast will be smoke-testing sewer lines in selected areas of the P section beginning Monday, Feb. 21, through Friday, Feb. 25. This test, which involves forcing smoke into the sanitary sewer lines, will check for leaks, breaks and defects in the system.
The testing will take place in sewer lines on streets beginning with the letters Pri, Pro, Pra and Pre. That means the residential areas in the rectangle east of Belle Terre Parkway, north of White View Parkway, and south of the canal below Buddy Taylor Middle School (see the map below), in the neighborhood crossed by Pritchard Drive. Homes affected by smoke testing will find a door tag hanging on the front door.
The smoke is odorless, creates no fire hazard and will not enter your home or business unless you have defective plumbing or dried-up sink traps or floor drains. The smoke test should only affect your home for approximately 15 minutes.
The smoke used for this test is manufactured strictly for this purpose, leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plants and animals. Still, direct contact with the smoke may cause minor respiratory irritation in some people.
If you suffer from a heart condition, asthma, emphysema or some other respiratory condition and are planning to stay in your house during testing, notify the city at 386/986-2371 to discuss your specific case.
Prior to testing, the city is asking residents in affected areas to pour two gallons of water in the seldom-used sinks or floor drains to prevent sewer gases, smoke or odors from entering the premises. If smoke does enter your home during testing, immediately leave the house, notify the crews that are conducting the test or call the city. If smoke enters your home, it is an indication of a plumbing defect, so you should also notify a plumber.
While the city can assist in the location of any defects on private property, the correction of any defects are the responsibilities of the property owner.
Smoke that you will see coming from the vent stacks on houses is normal. However, smoke coming from holes in the grounds is not normal and is considered a defect. All such defects will be photographed and logged. The city will then contact the property owners if a defect is located on private property.
This smoke testing is part of the city’s effort to provide a safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound sewer system throughout Palm Coast. The smoke testing procedure has been recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an effective means of identifying problem areas in the sewer system. Eliminating system defects and illegal connections will help the city remain in compliance with the new federal legislation regarding sewer systems maintenance and sanitary sewer overflows.