JCSD Smoke Testing Project


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General Project Information 

As part of its commitment to maintaining infrastructure and providing reliable service, Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD), through our contractor, DownStream Services Inc., will conduct smoke testing activities from April 10, 2023, through July 2023. DownStream is a firm that specializes in assessment, maintenance and rehabilitation of stormwater, wastewater and underground utility systems. JCSD recently retained DownStream to assess the condition of JCSD’s sewers and to detect sources of inflow and infiltration (I/I) into certain area of our sanitary sewer collection system, which may result in overflows and backups.  


What is Smoke Testing?  

Smoke Testing aims to locate obstructions and defects in the sanitary sewer collection system and potential prohibited connections.  

The smoke that you see coming from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground is: NON-TOXIC, HAS NO ODOR, AND CREATES NO FIRE HAZARD. The smoke should not enter your house unless you have defective plumbing or dry drain traps. If this occurs, you should consult your licensed plumber. Generally, if a home has defective plumping or dry drain traps, there could be a danger of sewer gases entering your home or establishment. Should smoke enter your building, you may contact a member of the smoke testing crew working in your neighborhood.  


How to Prepare for Testing?  

If you have any seldom-used drains, such as floor drains or seldom-used bath or sink facilities, please pour approximately 24 ounces of water into the drain to fill the trap, preventing smoke from entering. Drain traps should always be filled with water to prevent sewer gases or odors from entering the building. Additionally, many washing machine drain pipes do not have traps. To help prevent smoke from entering your building around a washing machine drain pipe with no trap, tie a damp rag around the drain opening. 


Keeping You Informed 

About 48 hours before smoke testing begins, door hangers will be distributed at each residence, providing information regarding the procedure and names and phone numbers of personnel to contact for more information. During the smoke testing activities, DownStream and JCSD personnel will identify defects revealed when smoke escapes through them. Locations for defects may include roof downspouts, uncapped cleanouts, driveway drains, stairwell drains, yard or area drains, window well drains, foundation-perimeter drains, and defective service pipes.  

While we have no reason to expect difficulties, we wanted to inform you of the coming activities. We anticipate that the door-to-door inspection and smoke testing activities will require only a few hours in your area. The information gained from these activities may be used to improve your neighborhood’s sewer services. Your patience and cooperation are very much appreciated.  

With the information gathered from these inspection activities, Jacobs, our contracted engineering sewer condition assessment firm, will be able to create a report for JCSD to use to identify target areas for repair and rehabilitation.  


Smoke Testing Process  

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Smoke testing is the process of introducing non-toxic smoke into individual sewer pipe segments (temporarily sealed) with high-capacity blowers. The purpose of conducting smoke testing of a sanitary sewer collection system is to locate and identify deficiencies in sewer pipelines, manhole structures, and private laterals that contribute to inflow and infiltration (I/I) 

  • Benefits of Smoke Testing  

  • Reduces storm water entering the sewer system 

  • Reduces utilities operation costs as they don’t need to treat the storm water 

  • Elimination of I/I sources can reduce the occurrence of SSO

Please ensure that traps for all basement floor drains and other sink traps and plumbing fixtures are full of water by pouring approximately 24 ounces of water into each drain. This should be done as soon as possible. 


Area of Smoke Testing 

Overall Project Schedule 

  Start: April 2023 
  • Duration: 120 calendar days  (approx.) 

  • Anticipated Completion: July 20th, 2023 

Please direct all questions and correspondence related to this matter in writing to Ashish Marwah at amarwah@jcsd.us.