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Village of Villa Park News

Posted on: July 19, 2019

2019 Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

Study Area Smoke Testing

The Village of Villa Park is conducting a program to identify locations where storm water is entering the Village sanitary sewer system. The study, being performed by the engineering firm RJN Group, Inc. of Wheaton, Illinois, includes smoke testing of the sanitary sewers.

Smoke testing is a simple means of locating openings in the sewer system that allow surface rainwater runoff to enter the sanitary sewers. Air combined with non-toxic smoke is forced into the sewer at manholes, usually located in the street, filling the system. Smoke will appear where there are defects in the main sewer line (usually located under the road) or laterals (connection between the main sewer line and a building) or where other connections to the sewer system exist, such as roof drains, patio drains and footing drains.

Smoke should not enter buildings unless there is defective plumbing or dried-up drain traps. Pour 1 gallon of water down all floor drains and any rarely used sinks/tubs/toilets to ensure that a water barrier is maintained in the drain traps. The drain trap water barrier prevents sewer gases or odors from entering the building. If the drain trap water barrier is present and smoke does enter your home, the potential exists for sewer gases to also enter your home and you should consult a licensed plumber to fix the problem. If smoke is entering your home during the smoke testing, contact a member of the RJN crew if they are still on your street. If the RJN crew is no longer in the area contact the RJN Group office at 630-682-4700.

The smoke is non-toxic, low odor, creates no fire hazard, leaves no residue, dissipates quickly, and is harmless. However, if someone in your home has respiratory problems, you may wish to take extra precautions on your own, such as leaving your home until the smoke testing is completed.

Smoke testing is scheduled to begin in late July and is expected to be completed in early August, weather permitting. Additional notification will be provided by door hanger cards prior to the start of smoke testing and signs will be posted when crews are testing in your area.

Additional information on smoke testing sanitary sewers can be found on the RJN Group website:, or use the QR code to get to the site. If you have questions, please call Cathy Morley, RJN Project Manager, at (630) 682-4700 x1354 or the Village of Villa Park, at (630) 834-8505.

Your cooperation with the 2019 Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing program is greatly appreciated.


Village of Villa Park

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