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Public Notice: Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing



The City of Langley has hired the contractor, SFE Global to conduct “Smoke/Vapour Testing” to improve the sanitary sewer system. The testing will take place from July 15 through August 15, 2024, between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, weather permitting. The purpose of this testing is to identify storm drains or groundwater infiltration into the sanitary system.

Sanitary sewers handle wastewater from your home and/or business, while storm drains manage rainwater from your roof, foundation, and ditches. Identifying sources of excess flow is essential to maintaining and improving the integrity of our sanitary sewer system.

During the testing, you may see smoke emerging from roof vents of homes and businesses, seeping from the ground or manholes in the roadways. This smoke is safe, non-toxic, odourless, and does not pose a fire hazard. It should not enter your home unless there is a cross-connection, to the sanitary system, or a dry “P-trap” in a drain. Dry P-traps are typically present in toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers and floor drains that are not regularly used.

To prevent smoke from entering your home or business, please pour a minimum of three cups of water into all of the areas mentioned above, to ensure P-traps are full and form a water barrier. If the smoke can pass through a dry trap, so can sewer gases, making it important to address this issue.

SFE Global may require access to your property to view all sides of the house and yard in addition to taking photographs and/or videotaping for reporting purposes. Inspections will not take place inside homes or businesses. We ask that you observe and document any potential sources of smoke in your home or business and forward this information to the City if possible.

All personnel will wear highly visible traffic vests and carry employee identification cards, which they will present upon request.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work to improve our community's infrastructure.

City Contact:                                           
Pat Balducci, CWP, CWWP       
Utility Maintenance Charge Hand
City of Langley