Smoke Testing

The Wastewater Collection Line Maintenance Section performs smoke testing and televised video inspections of pipelines in order to determine sources of potential ground water leaks into the sanitary sewer system.
Manhole During a Smoke Test

What is smoke testing?

Smoke testing is used to locate line breaks and possible illegal sewer line connections. The most common illegal connection is a stormwater line or tightline gutter connection into the sanitary sewer line. 

This past year 505,657 lineal feet of gravity sewer lines were smoke tested. These tests save Pierce County Planning and Public Works money by eliminating extra water being routed to the wastewater treatment plant for treatment.

Maintenance crews are scheduled to smoke test a different area of the system every summer. If testing is scheduled for your neighborhood, you will receive a door hanger notification the day before testing begins.

If you have any questions or concerns about smoke testing in your neighborhood, please contact the Sewer Utility at (253) 798-4050.