During wet weather, many wastewater treatment facilities experience a significant rise in flow rates due to rainwater entering the sanitary sewer system. The excess flow is expensive to treat and could lead to untreated wastewater overflows if the system is pushed beyond capacity.
Smoke testing is a valuable technique used to locate problem areas where rainwater enters the sewer system through faults in the pipes and manholes. As smoke is forced into an isolated portion of the system, it rises to the surface through any available opening (breaks, cross-connections, missing caps, etc.). Teams equipped with cameras canvass the area under test to locate and document any smoke emissions. Once the data has been collected, further investigation can be initiated and remedies applied.