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WM Utility ‘smoke testing’ sewer lines

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Test designed to reveal leaks in system

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West Memphis Utilities began inspecting it sewer lines for leaks using smoke tests this week. Utility Engineer AJ Elhaj told city council that crews would be in neighborhoods running the tests. He explained the purpose of the test and said the fire department had been notified about the smoke tests which began September 10 and will continue for two more months.

“The reasons we are doing the white smoke test is to identify line defects in the sanitation sewers, and evaluating rehab work,” said Elhaj.

Elhaj said the utility put out word to the police and fire department along with an information blitz including a video explanation in city social media.

The smoke used in the test is not toxic. If any of the smoke enters a home or business through the sewer it may indicate a problem with the household plumbing.

“Drain traps should always be filled with water to prevent sewer gasses from entering the building,” said Elhaj. “If smoke enters through faulty plumbing, the potential exists for sewer gases to enter your home or establishment and you should consult a licensed plumber to fix the problem.”

City Councilman Tracy Catt wanted utility customers to know what to do in the event smoke enter their home.

“If a home owner sees this in their home they should contact their plumber; it’s not a city issue,” said Catt.

Some of the sewer lines and manhole inspections may be in backyards. The work crews will be uniformed and at no time will need to enter a home.

For more information West Memphis Utility Customers may call the contractor, RJN Group, Joseph Colley (501) 224-2248 or the West Memphis Utility , AJ Elhaj, (870)735-3355.

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