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Sewer District will begin smoke testing to cut costs by identifying sewer leaks

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (June 23, 2014) — Pulaski County Sewer District personnel will begin smoke testing on Tuesday, June 24, in the Southside Road-Hunters Point area and will continue each week through the month of June and July.

According to sewer district officials, the smoke is not harmful to people, pets, or property.

Smoke testing is a method used by utility crews to identify places where an underground pipe has not been sealed properly, or where improper connections have been made to a utility line.

That's especially important because of recent changes in federal EPA rules which require sewage systems to treat all discharge, even during high-volume periods caused by rainfall. For many years, sewage systems discharged partially treated sewage during rainfall because the systems couldn't handle all the liquid flowing into their system when sewage was mixed with rainwater that entered pipes through inflow and infiltration.

Closing leaks and stopping improper connections that let rainwater into the sanitary sewer systems is one way the Pulaski County Sewer District and municipal sewage systems reduce inflow and inflitration, which has the effect of reducing the amount of liquid which must be treated.

The cities of St. Robert and Waynesville as well as the Pulaski County Sewer District are in the process of multi-million dollar upgrades to their sewage systems; similar but smaller projects are underway with the county's smaller cities to reduce inflow and infiltration or increase sewage plant treatment capacity.

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