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Posted on: June 1, 2018

Notice of DPW Smoke Testing Study


The Water/Sewer Division of the Department of Public Works along with their contractor, Flow Assessment Company, will be conducting a study to determine where stormwater may be entering the system through sources including catch basins, damaged manholes, roof leaders, sump pumps and basement drains.  When present in excessive amounts, inflow increases the cost to operate the sewer system and can contribute to undesirable backups in the sewer system.This study will consist of smoke testing.  During testing, white smoke is introduced into the sanitary sewer system.  During this procedure, white smoke will be venting from holes in manhole covers located on the street and plumbing vent pipes located on or near your roof surface.   THIS IS NORMAL AND SHOULD NOT BE CAUSE FOR ALARM

Smoke should not enter your premise unless there is a dry trap in your basement floor drain or any unused plumbing fixtures.  You are encouraged to pour water down your basement floor drain or unused plumbing fixture to insure that the drain trap will be effective.  Smoke could also enter the building through defective plumbing.  Should smoke be detected within the building, DON’T BE ALARMED.  The smoke is NON-TOXIC AND NON-STAINING.  Simply ventilate the home and report the presence of smoke to the people conducting the test outside in the vicinity of your building.  If possible, they will assist you in locating the source that allowed the smoke to enter the building.

Your cooperation is appreciated in this effort to provide you with quality sanitary sewer service for the lowest possible cost. This study should be complete by approximately June 30, 2018.


You are not required to be home when the testing is being performed on your street; oonce you receive a notice of this study, the test will be performed 24 to 72 hours after notification.  However, rain, holidays and weekends may shift test periods beyond the 24 to 72 hour time frame.

If you have any questions regarding the smoke testing program please feel free to contact the following individuals:

Marc Besio, P.E.                                                      

Brookline Engineering Division                             


Robert Drake, P.E.

Project Manager, BETA Group                                           

401-333-2382 (office)

401-595-0736 (cell)

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