Business/Homeower: Door Hanger Recipient

If you received a USSI door hanger notice on your door, it indicates that USSI will be doing work in your area.  Some of the work includes our smoke testing procedure. You may see smoke rising from the ground and through the tops of buildings or homes during this process. There is no need to be alarmed. This procedure is safe and will not cause a fire.

FAQ Sheet

The smoke is odorless, creates no fire hazard, and should not enter your home or business unless you have defective plumbing or dried-up drain traps.

This test, which involves forcing smoke into the sanitary sewer lines, will check for leaks, breaks and defects in the system. This smoke testing is part of our continuing effort to provide a safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound sewer system. The smoke used for this test is manufactured for this purpose and leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plants and animals.

Health Concerns that you may be asked about are:
• What if I have COPD (emphysema)?
• What If I am on an oxygen concentrator?
• What if I use oxygen tanks?
• What if I have heart problems?
• What if I (child) have asthma?
• Any other health concerns that might be asked about.

What if I have health concerns?
Give us your name, address, and phone number and the crews in the field will be happy to let you know when they will be in your neighborhood. This will give you time to leave the house if you so choose while they are smoke testing.

Q: Will the smoke hurt my pet(s)?
A: No harm will come to your pets.

Q: If my pet(s) breathe in the smoke will they be hurt?
A: No they will not be harmed.

Q: Do I have to bathe my pet(s) if they come in contact with the smoke?
A: The smoke is designed to not be harmful to your pets or their skin.

Q: Do I need to be home when the testing happens?
A: No, you do not need to be home at the time of testing. The crews do not need to enter your house unless there is a problem that you want documented. They will not fix a problem on private property. This is the responsibility of the home owner.

Q: What happens if the smoke enters my home or business?
A: Contact one of the uniformed crew members who will be inspecting outside for leaks and they will be happy to help you figure out where the smoke is coming from, but we will not make repairs. This is the responsibility of the home owner. If smoke enters your home/business, open your doors and windows so it can be aired out.

Q: How long will the smoke testing take?
A: The smoke testing will take about 20 minutes to complete.

Q: Vacant units/houses -– what if they can’t or don’t have a way to add water to their dry drains, etc?
A: Most homes will not be affected. A few may have small amounts of smoke/vapor enter the home that will dissipate in 5 -10 minutes.

Q: If people are not home and they have issues (smoke in the house) how will they know?
A: They will not. Let them know we are looking for defects in sewer lines outside the home, not inside.

Q: If they have home sitters, etc. should they have them in the house to see if there is a leak?
A: Not necessary. Let them know we are not looking to find defects inside homes.

Q: What is the advantage to staying home and finding out if there is a leak in their homes/units?
A: No advantage. This test is for breaks in the sewer system outside the home.

Q: Condo Management – what is best for them to prepare with a large number of vacant units?
A: No preparation is necessary. If smoke/vapor enters the units, it will dissipate in 5-10 minutes.

USSI'S was featured in the Florida Water Resource Journal.

Analysis of Inflow Solutions among Eleven Sewer Systems 
By: Frederick Bloetscher, PhD, PE. Florida Atlantic University


Noteworthy Reading

USSI'S G7 Abatement Program is used as the standard in the training and educational book UTILITY MANAGEMENT FOR WASTEWATER OPERATORS by the "AWWA" American Water Works Association.

Defining The Cost Benefit Of Inflow Removal Before Infiltration Exploration
By: Frederick Bloetscher, PhD, PE. Florida Atlantic University


USSI is honored to be featured in several publications

Smoke Testing
​Information Videos

For a better understanding of how smoke testing works view the video below from Charleston. USSI's smoke testing procedure is very similar.

If you are a Florida Utility please contact us directly for Piggyback Contract Pricing