A smoke test to be will be performed on Oct. 18 in the town to check for any leaks in the water systems that could be costing taxpayers.
As part of the New York State rural water association and waste water department agreement (NYSRWA) the test for sanitary sewer leak smoke test in Champlain Park has been approved by the town board to see where storm water and surface water is entering the water treatment system.
“The intention of the test is to locate and identify a source of infiltration, to determine repair and replacement needs and institute future maintenance schedules that will save taxpayers and the town money,” Bernard Bassett, Town Supervisor said. “The rural water association has agreed to assist water and waste water department at no cost to the town of Plattsburgh or the water and waste water department to conduct a smoke test in the Champlain Park sewer district.”
The smoke to be used in the test is a non-toxic, dry, smoke manufactured specifically for the purpose of testing sewer lines. It will not leave a residue, stain or have any effect on plant or wildlife. It has a distinct odor and the visibility that should dissipate within a few minutes.
If traces of smoke or its odor enter a home this is an indication that odor from the sewer system may also be entering the home, a potential health hazard.
“One of the beauties of this for our residents is the test has the potential to surface any leaks in the system that might be bringing noxious odors back into the home which would be something otherwise causing headaches or any number of things we have related to that invisible odor. We certainly hope not, but we should be able to gather more information for the residents,” Bassett said.
The water and wastewater department can provide assistance in locating the source of the smoke entering a house, however any repairs in pipes and sewers needed on private property will be the responsibility of the resident.
“These investments in energy, water and waste water facilities have been truely tightening things down and we're seeing cost savings down the road by making these repairs to our water systems.”
“We're not arguing we should increase the cost for homeowners or the cost of the businesses for utility service, but if water is being unnecessarily treated thats costing the county money and that directly affects taxes down the road for residents and businesses,” Bassett said.
Bassett said the town has been lucky to have been able to control the utility costs to this point but in order to maintain town budgets it is the responsibility of the town to see where money, resources and possibly 1,000’s of gallons of water are being used unnecessarily.