Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing Happening Next Week

Media Release



Dates of testing: February 11, 12 & 13, 2009
Location: Pauka`a Area – Kulana Street and Kulana Road

The County of Hawai`i, Department of Environmental, Wastewater Division (WWD) crew will be conducting a survey of the sanitary sewer system by conducting smoke testing of the sewer system. The survey will involve opening manholes on Kulana Road and Kulana Street in the Pauka`a area on February 11, 12 & 13, 2009.



  • Simulated non-toxic smoke will be injected into the sewer system in order that the WWD can assess the integrity of the system. As a result smoke may be seen coming from manhole covers, storm drains, roof vents and building foundations.
  • After each setup the smoke test will last approximately 1 hour.
  • Photographs will be taken to document potential leaks/defects.
  • Homeowners do not need to be home and inspection crews will not need to enter your home; however access onto your property may be required.
  • Residential/Homeowners can still use faucets and bathroom facilities during smoke testing.


Tips to prevent smoke from entering your home (complete prior to test):

  • Run water faucets for a few seconds in unused sinks, tubs, and drains to fill fixture traps.
  • Pour water into each basement floor drain (at least one gallon)
  • If you have defective plumbing (i.e. no trap, etc), you should consult with a licensed plumber.

If you notice smoke in your home or structure:

  • Do NOT become alarmed.
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the premises to clear smoke.
  • Contact the Wastewater Division’s field crew to help access the situation.
  • Simulated smoke will not stain walls or furniture; nor will it leave a residue.
  • Consult a licensed plumber in the near future to identify the smoke access area, as the potential exists for sewer gases to enter your home in the same manner.

Safety/Health Issues:

  • There is NO danger of fire or explosion of sewer gas with the smoke testing process.
  • Simulated smoke is not harmful to your health. Smoke irritation is temporary and should disappear after exposure has ceased. When possible avoid unnecessary exposure to simulated smoke.
  • If there is an individual in your home or business who has respiratory problems and/or mobility limitations please contact the Wastewater Division at (808)961-8512, before January 23, 2009.
  • A copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the simulated smoke can be found on the County of Hawai`i website page ( under the heading Departments-Department of Environmental Management/Wastewater Division.  Copies are also available at our Hilo office (108 Railroad Avenue).

If you have any questions or observe smoke near your home or structure during the testing please call Toni Nakatani at 808-937-5199.

You may see something like this:


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