Smoke testing by Daniel Gies, http://www.flickr.com/photos/daniel_gies/5041121388/in/photostream/
The city of Oakland Public Works department is planning smoke tests in North Oakland in the coming weeks.
These are tests that are conducted to test the flow of fluid and gas through city facilities, including sewer lines - before winter comes.
For each smoke location, the engineers running the test will use a Smoke Testing Setup Form and associated Smoke Testing Defect Forms; when they find a clogged spot, they'll log in, add it to a database and then let everyone know.
Comments from a local resident included this one:
"I can imagine it being pretty unsettling to see smoke coming from roof plumbing vents, building foundations, catch basins, cleanouts, downspouts, sewer laterals or manhole covers, so wanted to pass this on; you may want to mention it to neighbors not on this list. The smoke sounds fairly benign ('Non-toxic smoke, not harmful to humans, pets, food and material items') but the notice says to be sure and fill up seldom used drains and p-traps before the testing so water blocks the smoke from entering.
They say you may see smoke coming up in your house if your plumbing is done incorrectly - at which point you're supposed to open your windows for ventilation and notify the crew chief doing testing in your area, whose contact information I assume will be on the detailed flyer they'll post 1-2 days before. "
Smoke Test Note 10-14-11
Need to check in? Contact Jeff Blum, E2 Consulting Engineers, (510) 774-9223 and/or Gunawan Santoso, city of Oakland Engineering Design Division, (510) 238-7260.