Smoke Testing of the Wastewater Collection System

In the next few days, inspection crews will be conducting a physical survey of a portion of the City of Waxahachie sanitary sewer system. This survey involves the opening and inspecting of manholes and sewer lines in the streets and easements. An important task of the survey will be the smoke testing of the sewer lines to locate breaks and defects in the sewer system.

The smoke that you see coming from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground is harmless, has little odor, and creates no fire hazardThe smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps. If this occurs, you should consult your licensed plumber.

If the harmless smoke enters through faulty plumbing, the potential exists for dangerous sewer gases to enter your home or business. Should smoke enter your home or business, contact a representative of the City of Waxahachie at (469) 309-4320. A crew member can check the sewer lines around your home or business to possibly determine the source of the smoke.

To prevent smoke from entering your home or business: 

  • Make sure that all drain traps (also called “U Joints” or “P Traps”) in your home are filled with water by pouring water in the drain. A filled drain trap will keep smoke out of your home or business.

The City of Waxahachie will be working with crews from Burgess & Niple (B&N) to conduct the sewer inspections. Crews may need to access sewer manholes in utility easements on your property. Whenever these lines require investigation, members of the inspection crews will need access to the easements of the sewer lines and manholes.

B&N personnel are uniformed and carry identification badges. Homeowners do not need to be home and at no time will field crews need to enter your home or business.

Photographs will be taken of leaks occurring in the system. We anticipate the smoke testing will require a few hours in your area. Your cooperation will be appreciated. The information gained from this testing is being used to improve the quality of your wastewater collection system.

If you need special assistance or would like more information, please contact:
City of Waxahachie Utilities
469-309-4320