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Public Works Dept.
Smoke Testing

August 15th & 16th


Please be informed that the City of Dayton has contracted with Keller Associates to conduct smoke-testing of the sewer system in Dayton on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 15th & 16th. 


The smoke is not harmful and will not stain nor endanger your health.  No smoke should enter your premises unless there is an open drainage connection.  You may prevent the entry of smoke into your home or business by contacting the City of Dayton in advance to advise of any open connections.


Any presence of smoke in your home or business during smoke testing should be reported to the City of Dayton (503) 864-2221 as soon as possible.

Annual Smoke Testing.  The City of Dayton annually tests a section of the City's sewer system for open, broken or unauthorized connections.  Each year a different section of town is tested.  If your property is discovered to have an open sewer connection, the City will contact you to notify you of the issues they have discovered and offer suggestions on how to fix the problem. 

Where smoke can appear and why?  Smoke permeating up through a yard can be an indication of breaks in the sewer line.  Building foundations or manhole covers may also be an indication of breaks in the sewer line.  Yard cleanouts, may indicate that a cleanout plug is missing or are improperly installed.   Through vents connected to your building's sewer pipe may indicate pipes that are inadequate, defective or improperly installed.  Under sinks, tubs, basins, showers and other drains which can indicate dry, defective, improperly installed or missing traps.  If pipe connections and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your building are damaged or defective.  Smoke coming from roof vents on the roof of homes is a normal occurrence and indicated to test crews that smoke has filled all sewers. 

Smoke testing of sanitary sewer lines is important because it helps to identify inflow & infiltration (I & I) in the sanitary sewers.  Smoke testing is a relatively simple process that consists of blowing smoke mixed with large volumes of air into the sanitary sewer line, usually induced through a manhole.  the smoke travels the path of least resistance and quickly shows up at sites that allow surface water inflow.  Smoke will identify broken manholes, illegal connections including roof drains, yard drains, uncapped lines and cracked mains and laterals, providing there is a passageway for the smoke to travel to the surface. 
What is I & I?  Inflow and infiltration, is clean storm and/or groundwater that enters the sewer system through cracked pipes, leaky manholes, or improperly connected storm drains, down spouts and sump pumps.  Most inflow comes from storm water and most infiltration comes from groundwater. 
Inflow occurs when rainwater is misdirected into the sanitary sewer system instead of storm sewers.  Examples are roof downspouts, yard and area drains, manhole covers, and cross connections from storm drains.  The remedy for inflow is to remove improper connections to the sanitary sewer system.
Infiltration occurs when ground water seeps into the sanitary sewer system through cracks or leaks in sewer pipes.  The cracks or leaks may be caused by age related deterioration, loose joints, damage or root infiltration.  The remedy for infiltration is repairing or replacing the leaking infrastructure. 

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