The City of Grand Forks will be conducting tests next week to locate sources of storm water that may be flowing into the sanitary sewer system. The firm of Webster, Foster, and Weston has been hired to perform smoke testing of sanitary sewers in downtown Grand Forks and on the City’s near South side.
The area to be tested is bound by Kittson Avenue on the north, 4
Avenue South, on the south, South 4
Street on the east, and Cherry Street on the west.
The area will be divided into 8 segments of approximately three blocks in length. Each segment will be pressurized with smoke. The smoke, which is non-toxic, will flow out of sewer vents on each building and any storm sewer connections. If a building's plumbing is in order, no smoke should enter a building. However, if smoke enters the building during testing, it could indicate a problem with the plumbing or sewer vent system.
Most times, if smoke enters a building, it’s caused by dry traps in drains. To avoid this from happening, property owners in the testing area should pour approximately 1 quart of water down the drains of all sinks, showers, tubs, and other sanitary sewer drains. The water may be added any time prior to the testing.
The work will take place from September 10 through September 13, 2013. Advance notice will be placed on doors of each building one day prior to the day the actual testing will occur. Testing cannot take place during inclement weather.
Although the smoke used in the testing is non-toxic, people with severe allergies or respiratory problems should contact Webster Foster & Weston at 701-775-8118 to accommodate their needs and still allow the testing to take place.