City of Sequim to test sewers with smoke testing

SEQUIM — The City of Sequim Public Works Department is conducting sanitary sewer smoke testing through Aug. 26 in the area between Miller Road and Sequim Avenue between East Brownfield and Amethyst and Sapphire drives.

The testing includes Emerald Highlands, Alpine Loop, Craftsman Court, American Eagle Drive and all other houses off Miller Road and Sequim Avenue, city officials said.

The testing examines the city’s system for defects, breaks, leaks and faulty connections, they said.

According to city officials, testing involves opening manholes and filling the sewer lines with non-toxic smoke.

During tests, residents may see smoke coming from vent stacks on buildings or from holes in the ground such as manhole covers, storm drains and building foundations.

The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, non-staining, does not create a fire hazard and will dissipate in a few minutes, they said. There is no need for the testing crew to enter any homes or buildings, they said.

City Public Works Department staffers recommend residents flush all toilets and run water down all sinks, tubs and laundry drains before the first day of the testing period to make sure all drain traps contain enough water to prevent smoke from entering the building through the drains.

If residents see smoke in their building, they should open the doors and windows to ventilate the premises and to clear smoke, city officials said. Simulated smoke will not stain walls or furniture and it will not leave a residue.

“Simulated smoke is not harmful to your health but may cause some coughing,” city officials said.

Smoke irritation is temporary and should disappear after exposure has ceased. When possible, avoid unnecessary exposure to simulated smoke.

The chemical makeup of the smoke compound can be found on the City of Sequim website at, or by calling the Public Works Department at 360-683-4908.

If residents do see smoke in their building, they should consult a licensed plumber in the near future to identify the smoke access area, as the potential exists for sewer gasses to enter the building in the same manner.

If you experience smoke in your house or from vents in your home and did not have a flier on your door or A-frame sign visible on your block, call 911.

At any time during these tests, feel free to ask questions of the Public Works employees conducting the test in your neighborhood.

The Clallam County Fire District, 911 Dispatch, and City Police will be notified of the testing and will be updated throughout the test period of testing locations.

Prior to the testing, notify Public Works if there is an individual in your building, business or residents who have respiratory problems and/or mobility limitations.

For more information about the sanitary sewer smoke testing, call the Public Works Department at 360-683-4908 or sewersmoketest@

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