Smoke Testing

Starting July 2023, through November 2023, inspection crews will be conducting a physical survey of a portion of the City of Temple’s sanitary sewer system using smoke testing to locate obstructions and defects in the sewer system. This study will involve the opening of manholes in the streets and easements. The smoke that you see coming from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground is NON-TOXIC AND CREATES NO FIRE HAZARD. The smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps. To prevent smoke from entering your home, please pour water in seldom-used sink drains, bathtubs, and toilets, to fill the trap. If the smoke does enter your home, please contact a member of the smoke testing crew, who should be in your neighborhood, so that testing can be halted. Although harmless, the smoke can be inconvenient. If the smoke does enter your home, the potential exists for dangerous sewer gases to enter your home also. A licensed plumber can correct such problems. Drain traps should always be filled with water to prevent sewer gases or odors from entering the building. 

Some sewer lines and manholes may be located on the backyard easement property line. Whenever these lines require investigation, members of the inspection crews will need access to the easements for sewer lines and manholes. Please temporarily secure your pets away from these locations. RJN field personnel are uniformed and carry identification badges. Homeowners do not need to be home and AT NO TIME WILL FIELD CREWS HAVE TO ENTER YOUR BUSINESS OR RESIDENCE. Working hours for crews in your area will be MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M. Your cooperation is appreciated. The information gained from this study will be used to improve your sewer services. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our Utility Services Division at 254-298-5611.

What is smoke testing?

What is the benefit to my community?

How will I know when smoke testing will be performed in my neighborhood?

How are RJN crews recognizable?

Is the smoke hazardous?

Do I need to do anything to prepare for smoke testing?

What if smoke shows in my yard or driveway?

Do I need to be home when smoke testing is performed?

Is it OK if smoke is coming out of building vents?

What if a test yields no smoke defects?