Sewer Smoke Testing


The City of Havelock is currently tracing Inflow and Infiltration utilizing smoke testing methods. What we are looking for is ground water infiltration into the sewer system, as well as direct inflow into the system through broken clean outs (the white pvc or black abs pipe found in most yards used as a method to clean out clogged sewer lines). When these pipes are found to be broken it allows rain water to directly flow into the sewer system. Rain water should flow through the stormwater system (ditches, pipes and culverts which divert water out of neighborhoods and streets). Smoke testing utilizes a gas-powered engine, which is placed on top of an open manhole that is linked to a blower fan. Next, a non-toxic, non-staining chemical is added to the exhaust of the motor, which is converted into smoke filling the void in the piping buried underground. If broken pipes are located the smoke will come out of the ground alerting us to areas that need repaired.

This type of testing has led to calls to the fire/rescue department, being that in some situations there may be a bad wax ring seal under a toilet or a bad plumbing joint in a crawl space, or a dried-out p-trap on a plumbing fixture inside a home. Please follow proper procedures when calling fire/rescue but do understand this smoke has no odor, is light gray, and will not act like smoke from a fire. As long as vent stacks are not clogged the smoke will pass straight through the plumbing and out the vent stacks of the home.


Zone 1: June 1 – June 11
Zone 2: June 14 – June 25
Zone 3: June 28 – July 9
Zone 4: July 12- July 23
Zone 5: July 26 – August 6

Smoke Testing Map 2021

Please contact the Public Services Department at (252) 444-6409 with any questions or concerns.


Eric Smith Signature

Eric Smith
Utility Lines Supervisor

City of Havelock