Where there’s smoke, there’s not necessarily fire.
Parts of Scone’s sewer network will be smoke tested from next week (9 May 2016) for four weeks to find where stormwater is entering the system and reduce the treatment costs.
Upper Hunter Shire Council is aware of stormwater ingress into the town sewerage network which places unnecessary pressure on the Sewerage Treatment Plant. To reduce the amount of stormwater entering the system, Council investigates through smoke testing.
The 216 households affected are notified by letter-box drop when Council's contractor, Namits, undertakes smoke testing and onsite inspections in their area. The contractor may need to enter properties, but not houses, to locate, inspect and test all outside sewerage and drainage systems and take photos
The smoke testing is not harmful to the health of residents and does not pose a fire hazard. Local fire authorities are notified of the testing.
The testing is part of an ongoing commitment to reduce the flows to Council's Sewerage Treatment Plant and minimise sewer overflows by managing the amount of stormwater entering into the sewer system.
Smoke testing uses a non-toxic, artificially-created odourless smoke/mist that is directed under pressure into the sewer system at either a manhole, boundary trap or surcharge gully. Smoke will be visible if it is escaping through a crack/break or illegally connected point, such as roof water or other stormwater drain.
By identifying and repairing illegal or damaged connections, the volume of waste being delivered to Council's Sewerage Treatment Plant can be reduced. This reduces the level of treated effluent and can have dramatic results on the amount of electricity consumed in pumping and treatment processes. Stormwater load on our sewer system has the potential to cause environmental problems. Storm water connection to sewer is illegal.
Mist is directed into the sewer system and the area is checked for smoke plumes. If there is a defect on privately owned pipework, a defect notice is issued to the property owner, identifying the nature and location.
Upper Hunter Shire Council
Phone: 02 6540 1130
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.