The Town of Hillsborough has started smoke testing of sewer mains in West Hillsborough.
The testing, which is performed periodically throughout the town, is being conducted from Hassell Street west to Nash Street and from Calvin Street north to Queen Street. The testing will continue the week of Feb. 6.
During the testing, smoke is blown through the sewer main to help utilities employees search for cracks and broken pipes that typically wouldn’t be seen otherwise. The smoke appears out of the ground where problems are. Smoke also may appear from manholes and sewer cleanouts—capped pipes that provide access to sewer lines—and from the roof vents of houses and business buildings as the smoke travels into service lines as well.
Residents who find smoke inside their houses or in their yards during the testing should call a plumber as the smoke may be an indication of a bad joint or a broken pipe that should be repaired. Smoke in the house during the testing also could indicate a dry trap in a sink or a bathtub that is not used frequently. Running water through the drain will fill the trap and should stop the smoke. Typically, a sewer odor emanates from a pipe with a dry trap.
For more information about the testing, contact Utility Maintenance Supervisor Sammy Lankford at (919) 732-9459.