Enterprise report

Residents in the Douglas Flat area might notice smoke coming from various spots in the ground from Tuesday through Friday.

The Calaveras County Water District started conducting smoke testing on its sewer system in the area from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, and will continue until Friday, according to a press release issued by the agency.

It’s possible that community members could see smoke coming from various portions of the sewer system during these tests, the release states, “but there is no need to be alarmed as this is part of the district’s routine maintenance activities.”

According to CCWD, the smoke is nontoxic to people, pets and houseplants. It should not stain clothing, but the agency warns against prolonged exposure to the smoke. It’s unlikely any should come up through the pipes in residences, however, if smoke does come from pipes leading into homes, residents should open windows to help clear it out.

The smoke testing is used to inspect main sewer lines and laterals and identify potential problems, the press release states. The release went on to state, “Smoke testing consists of blowing smoke mixed with large volumes of air through a manhole and into a portion of sewer line. The smoke travels through the path of least resistance and becomes visible at sites that allow surface water inflow. Smoke can help identify broken manholes, illegal connections (including roof drains plumbed into the sewer system), sump pumps and yard drains, uncapped clean-outs, and can even show cracked mains and laterals. CCWD crews will use this information to make repairs and reduce the amount of infiltration and inflow entering the sewer system.”

For more information about the smoke testing, contact CCWD customer service at 754-3543 or customerserivice@ccwd.org.

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