Palm Bay To Conduct Utility Smoke Tests

By  //  September 8, 2012

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Starts Tuesday

BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Palm Bay’s Utilities Department will be examining its wastewater collection system through a series of special smoke tests next week.

Palm Bay will examine its wastewater collection system through a special non-toxic smoke test starting Tuesday. (Shutterstock image)

Testing will take place from Tuesday through Friday.

This involves forcing a non-toxic smoke into the sanitary sewer lines to check for leaks, breaks, and defects in the system. The testing is scheduled to take place between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day, weather permitting.

It is not necessary for residents to be present while testing is being conducted. Affected residents and businesses will receive an informational door hanger prior to testing.

The purpose of the test is to identify locations where rainwater and groundwater enter into the system through unauthorized connections, defective cleanouts, broken pipes, and cross connections with public storm drain systems.

Unauthorized connections can include roof gutters and downspouts, yard drain systems, foundation drains, sump pumps, and customers not being billed for services provided. The appearance of smoke inside a home or business indicates the possibility of unpleasant and potentially hazardous wastewater gases that may be entering the structure.

The smoke is not a fire hazard, and it will not leave any residue or stains.  There are no adverse effects on plants or animals from the smoke.  The smoke is harmless and has a distinctive, but not unpleasant odor.

As a precaution, individuals with respiratory problems may wish to move away from areas within the home that are defective and are allowing smoke to enter. Those with special health needs or concerns should call the Palm Bay Utilities Department at 321-952-3410 with any questions prior to testing.

For residents that may have bathrooms or drains that are not used frequently, it is recommended they run water through these fixtures prior to testing to ensure the traps are not dry and to prevent smoke from entering the home at these connections. If smoke does enter the home during testing, simply open several doors and windows and it should dissipate within a few minutes.

In addition, if you are home and smoke enters your residence during testing, please notify on-site crews or contact the Utilities Department.  Smoke coming from the vent stacks on houses is normal.  However, smoke coming from holes in the ground is not normal and is considered a defect. All such defects will be photographed and logged.

The city of Palm Bay will contact property owners if a defect is located on private property and the Palm Bay Utilities Department will assist with locating and identifying any defects external to residential or business locations. Inspection teams are not permitted to enter your home or business for any reason without permission. In these cases, and for making all necessary repairs, a licensed plumber should be consulted.

For more information, residents should call the City of Palm Bay Utilities Department at 321-952-3410 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit