Smoke in the vicinity of Elm and Warren was reported about 11 a.m. July 25 but was the result of Gardner’s smoke testing of sanitary sewers.
The shift commander for Johnson County Fire District #1 said they had fielded several reports of smoke, which indicates a plumbing problem or vent pipe issue.
According to Gardner’s website, the city and TREKK Design Group, LLC engineers began smoke testing sanitary sewers July 24. Smoke tests help to locate breaks and defects in the sewer pipes.
The smoke is nontoxic, nonstaining, has no odor, is white to gray in color, creates no fire hazard and is not harmful to pets. The smoke should not enter buildings unless they contain defective plumbing or dried up drain traps. If anyone detects smoke in their building, they should ventilate the room by opening windows or doors. The smoke will dissipate quickly. Those impacted by the testing should read the additional information below.
According to Gardner’s website:
Why is the City conducting smoke testing?
The sanitary sewer system was not designed to handle stormwater. Stormwater in the sanitary sewer system can cause sewage backups and results in extra water being treated at the wastewater treatment plant, which could increase sewer charges.
What can you do to prepare for the tests?
The smoke should not enter into buildings unless leaks or plumbing defects exist. To prevent smoke from rising out of appropriately-connected drains inside your home, please make sure 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 in each drain, including those in laundry and water heater rooms. Smoke may also enter your building around the wax ring at the base of the toilet. It is suggested that the bathroom doors remain closed during smoke testing activities to contain smoke within the bathroom. It is normal for smoke to exit from the roof vent stack.
What if you get smoke in your house?
If you detect smoke in your building, ventilate the room by opening windows or doors. If you experience irritation caused by the smoke, leave the area and ventilate well to dissipate the smoke. Should smoke enter your building and you need assistance, please notify the field technicians who are conducting the test.
If smoke enters your building and you need assistance, please notify the field technicians who are conducting the test. To reduce the potential of smoke entering your building, pour water into drains that are seldom used. Also, add a small amount of vegetable oil to help slow down the evaporation of water in your drains. If you need special assistance or know of any individuals in your neighborhood who may need assistance, or if you would like additional information concerning schedules or technical information, please contact TREKK field manager, Tim Osborn, at 816-218-5113 or contact Jeff LeMire, City of Gardner, at 913-856-0916.