‘Smoke testing’ coming to Enumclaw neighborhoods

National Plant Services will be warning residents they may see smoke, but it will be nothing to worry about.

National Plant Services will be testing about 10 miles of Enumclaw’s sewer line in the near future. Image courtesy National Plant Services

National Plant Services will be testing about 10 miles of Enumclaw’s sewer line in the near future. Image courtesy National Plant Services

Enumclaw residents should be aware that “smoke testing” of the sewage system is headed their way.

The testing will be done because the city had discovered significant “inflow/infiltration” troubles during times of high rainfall. Simply, too much water was winding up in the municipal sewage treatment plant, indicating excess water was making its way into the system.

To determine the extent of the problem, the city has hired National Plant Services, which will be testing about 10 miles of sewer line – roughly 20 percent of the entire city system. The testing is aimed at areas that suspected of having the most leakage, based on studies done in 2017 and 2018.

This isn’t the city’s first effort at smoke testing, but it hasn’t been done lately. Previous testing was done in 1975, 1981 and 1990.

Workers with National Plant will be leaving information on doors of impacted residences, beginning next week. The information explains that smoke should not enter the home, but may be visible elsewhere. Also, workers may need to access private yards.

The City Council last week approved a contract with National Plant, budgeting nearly $109,000 for the work.

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