Seminole County Sewer System Smoke Testing

Seminole County Environmental Services is currently conducting any smoke testing at this time.

Seminole County Environmental Services will be smoke testing the sanitary sewer in order to improve sewer service. The testing will begin August 17, 2017 through August 18, 2017. This testing, is conducted by forcing smoke into the sanitary sewer lines to discover any leaks, breaks and defects in the system.  This map of the affected area , shows the exact location of the test.

Smoke testing is a vital preventative maintenance measure that helps pinpoint the location of sewer defects that may need repairs. Sewer system defects allow rain water and debris to infiltrate the sewer system. This raises the cost of wastewater treatment for the entire community and increases the risk of sewage overflows during storms.

 Frequently Asked Questions about Smoke Testing.

Man conducting smoke testing.

  • The smoke used with the testing is odorless, poses no fire risk and will not enter your home/business unless you have defective plumbing, dried-up P-traps and/or floor drains.
  • The smoke used during testing is manufactured strictly for this purpose. The smoke will not leave stains and will not have an effect on plants and/or animals.
  • Although the smoke testing smoke is considered to have no adverse health effects, individuals with respiratory conditions should take special precautions and avoid exposure to the smoke.
  • The smoke rarely enters a home/building, but it would be best if you sat outside for the duration of the smoke test. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes. If you cannot sit outside, it may be beneficial to open the windows of the home/building. If at any time you experience respiratory distress contact your doctor.
  • If smoke does enter your home during testing, remain calm and open windows and doors to ventilate the smoke. The smoke usually clears out in about 15-20 minutes. Remove yourself from the home/building and kindly notify the crews that are conducting the test.
  • Smoke entering a home may indicate there is a problem with the sewer plumbing in the home or dried-up P-traps in sinks, tubs, showers, washer machine and floor drains. If the smoke is entering the home/business so too are the sewer gases. Sewer gases can be both unpleasant and a health risk.
  • It is normal to see smoke coming from the vent stacks on houses during testing. Smoke coming from holes in the ground is not normal and is considered a defect. All of the defects will be photographed and logged. The County will contact the appropriate property owners if a defect is located on private property.

Illustration of a P-Trap

Prior to testing, please pour approximately two gallons of water in the seldom-used sinks, tubs, showers and floor drains to prevent sewer gases and smoke from entering the premises.

Again, if smoke does enter your home during testing, remain calm, open windows/doors and remove yourself from the home/building and notify the crews that are conducting the test.If smoke enters your home it is an indication that there is a dry P-trap in a sink, tub, shower, washer machine, floor drain or a plumbing defect. If the smoke is entering the home/business so too are the sewer gases.

A Beneficial Recommendation:
Every 30 days pour roughly two gallons of water in seldom used sinks, tubs, showers and floor drains to prevent sewer gases from entering your home/building.

This smoke testing is part of our continuing effort to provide a safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound sewer system throughout Seminole County. The smoke testing procedure has been recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an effective means of identifying problem areas in the sewer system. Eliminating system defects and illegal connections will help Seminole County remain in compliance with the new federal legislation regarding sewer systems maintenance and sanitary sewer overflows.

For public health-related inquiries contact the Seminole County Health Department Environmental Health Program at (407) 665-3619 or the Epidemiology Program at (407) 665-3266.

For more information about the procedure as well as dates and times of the testing contact USSI at (888) 645-9570 Monday - Friday between the hours of 8.30am - 5.00pm.

Smoke Testing MSDS (PDF) [157 KB]

Area Maps : Autumn Chase, Lake Jessup Woods, and Hidden Creek Reserve


Video courtesy of Charleston Water System