Inspection of sewer system could leave residents seeing smoke

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - If you noticed a red door sign in your home this week that means the City of Wichita Falls will start the inspection of your sewer system on Monday.

With seven out of 38 areas around the city complete, the city of Wichita Falls is moving to the next one which includes the Country Club Cottages neighborhood along Taft and Ellingham.

Nicki Lowery, the city of Wichita Falls wastewater collection, rehab superintendent, said the test involves blowing non-toxic smoke into the sewer mains to find damage or improper connections that could lead to unwanted water entering the city's sewer system.

"Mostly they are going to be coming out the vents stacks on top of the homes," Lowery said.

Crews visually inspect properties to determine where there may be a problem on the line that may need to be addressed, but if the smoke makes it inside your home Lowery recommends to step outside for a few minutes.

"Or open some windows to let it air out it's non-toxic so it doesn't hurt anybody but we don't want anybody to get choked up just by having too much smoke in there," Lowery said.

Right after that contact a licensed plumber to inspect your pipes because there are dangerous sewer gases within the system that can be harmful if inhaled over long periods of time.

"If you have smoke coming in your house or your wall its going to be that you have a broken drain line in your wall or under your house," Brian's plumbing owner, Brian Walser said.

There are many reasons behind this damage said, Walser.

"Typically there are older pipes, older homes with a cast iron sewer lines outside," Walser said. "The shifting of the homes, they can crack on the walls and you may not know until they do the smoke test."

Before the smoke tests start on Monday, Walser encourages homeowners to go outside and make sure the cap of their sewer access also known as the cleanout is attached.

Copyright 2018 RNN Texoma All Rights Reserved