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Government

Elmhurst, RJN Group to start smoke testing Aug. 22

Smoke testing intended to help with stormwater, sanitary sewer system

ELMHURST – The city of Elmhurst, with the assistance of RJN Group, plans to start conducting smoke testing Aug. 22 to identify locations where stormwater is entering the city's sanitary sewer system.

Smoke testing is a technique used to identify where unnecessary groundwater or rainfall, which can cause basement backups and overflows, is entering the sewer system by using odorless, non-toxic smoke candles and high-capacity blowers on top of manholes to force smoke through sewer pipes, according to an RJN Group webpage article regarding smoke testing.

The smoke should not enter homes unless the home has defective plumbing or dried-up drain traps, the article stated. If smoke does enter a home, the resident is asked to pour a small amount of water in seldom-used drains to fill the trap and contact RJN staff working in the area, according to the article.

RJN staff will wear uniforms with a logo and carry identification badges, and crew members operate from vehicles with RJN signage, the article stated.

Homeowners do not need to be home, and field crews will not need to enter residences or buildings, the article stated.

Residents will receive advance notice via hanging tags on their front doors regarding when the project will reach their area, according to a post on the city of Elmhurst website.

The study is expected to conclude in October, according to the post. The study initially was scheduled to start Aug. 20 but was delayed because of rain, Utility Operations Manager Paul Burris said in an email Aug. 20.

Residents with questions can contact Burris at 630-530-3042. For more information and an informational video, visit rjn.com/client-portal/smoke-testing-faq. To see where smoke testing will occur, visit elmhurst.org/DocumentCenter/View/15315/2018-Proposed-Smoke-Testing-areas.

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