Smoke testing machine finds cracks in the system

Article image - Smoke testing machine finds cracks in the system Smoking machine in operation.

MidCoast Water is using an ongoing program of smoke testing across its service area to improve the efficiency of its sewerage network, reduce its impact on the environment, and save money on treatment costs.

MidCoast Water provides water and sewerage services to the Manning Great Lakes community on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales.

Having begun in July, the smoke testing program initially targeted older parts of the County Council’s service area but is now one of the regular maintenance and improvement programs undertaken by operational staff.

MidCoast Water’s General Manager Neil Hanington said the testing aims to reduce the amount of stormwater entering the sewerage system by finding and fixing faults, leaks and inappropriate connections.

“This reduces the amount of water that is required to be treated at the local sewerage treatment plant, and the risk of sewage overflows in wet weather,” he said.

Smoke testing is used to trace the path of the water flow and pinpoint any problems that may result in excessive stormwater entering the sewerage system. A smoke test forces actual smoke through waste and drain pipes under
a slight pressure to find leaks.

In the past, testing has identified things such as cracked manhole covers and sewer pipes where rainwater can leak into the system. They have also shown up unauthorised connections, where stormwater from homes is channelled directly into the sewerage system. In most cases the owner is unaware of the problem.

Where smoke testing detects private property faults, MidCoast Water will request the owner fix the problem within a given time.

For further information contact Neil Hanington on (02) 6592 4802.