Sewer Line Tests to Begin Monday

The City of Leesburg will begin smoke testing Monday, Feb. 18, looking for leaks along south and central portions of the municipal sanitary sewer system. 

The routine tests will help to identify where rain water inadvertently leaks into sewer lines with each storm. Significant amounts of rain runoff create more work for the city’s two wastewater treatment facilities and limit efficiency of the sewer system. 

Rain most often gets into the sewer system via pipeline cracks, loose seals or missing cleanout plugs. The City will repair many of these leaks. In some cases, private property owners will be notified about needed fixes. 

Each test lasts about 15 minutes and will be conducted between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays beginning Monday. The project should take about six weeks to complete. The City will place door hangers at all affected addresses in the days prior to testing. Customers do not need to be present for tests. 

The tests – to be conducted by City contractor Utility Sealing Services Inc. – consist of forcing safe, vegetable-oil-based smoke into the sewer lines to see where it escapes. 

The smoke is odorless, leaves no residuals or stains and poses no fire risk. Customers with heart or respiratory conditions may contact Utility Sealing Services with questions at 1-888-645-9570. 

As an expected part of the tests, smoke will emit from ground-level manhole covers and from ventilation pipes on building roofs. Smoke rarely enters buildings and may indicate plumbing problems such dried-up P-traps, broken seals or improperly capped connections. 

The City recommends pouring two to three gallons of water into seldom-used sinks, tubs, showers and floor drains, where smoke could intrude due to a lack of water pressure. This may be done any time prior to testing. 

Leesburg utility workers will assist with all smoke testing and can be identified by their city-issued shirts, identification badges and vehicles. 

Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.