Smoke testing of sewer lines starts Wednesday morning

BRATTLEBORO — On Wednesday, starting at approximately 9 a.m., Brattleboro will be performing smoke tests on the sewer lines on Old Guilford Road.

An inspection team composed of Brattleboro Utility Division Staff and a technician from the Vermont Rural Water Association will be performing the test.

The primary purpose of the smoke testing is to gather knowledge of the air flow through and air release from, the wastewater collection system.

Smoke testing is one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to locate potential sources of sporadic odor reports. The testing consists of forcing a special, non-toxic, smoke into the sewer lines and observing where it escapes in order to determine the location of leaks and inflow inlets.

The smoke is manufactured for this purpose and leaves no residuals or stains. This smoke has no effect on people, animals, or plants.

The smoke may be seen coming from vent stacks on buildings, street drain inlets, holes in the ground, and roof leaders entering the building plumbing, however smoke should not enter homes or businesses.

If the smoke does enter a building, there may be good reason to assume that defective pluming or a dried up drain trap is the cause. It is advisable for the residents to run water into all drains for one minute, especially those used infrequently, prior to the smoke test period.

Residents experiencing smoke within their home should contact a licensed plumber to identify and correct any possible defects.

For more information about smoke testing, contact Steve Barrett, Director of Public Works, at the Brattleboro Department of Public Works at 802-254-4255 or

If there is any individual in your home or business who has respiratory problems or is immobile, please call prior to the testing.


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