Fayette County

Smoke tests begin on city sewer system next week

If you see white smoke puffing from sewer pipes or the ground in coming months, don't be alarmed.

Starting next week, smoke will be blown through sanitary sewer pipes in neighborhoods throughout the city.

The non-toxic pressurized white smoke is used to determined whether there are any cracks or breaks in the sewer system.

If there is a break in the system, the smoke will be seen coming from a crack in the ground. Smoke will billow out of roof or yard drains, gutters, sump pumps or other cross-connections if there is an improper sewer connection.

If the system is working properly, the smoke will exit a home or business through the ventilation pipes on the roof.

The smoke testing is done to determine where repairs need to be made in the city's sewer system to improve water quality. The testing is part of the city's settlement agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency over violations of the Clean Water Act.

Smoke testing will be done in every Lexington neighborhood over the next three years.

On Monday, testing will begin in the Hartland area and then move to The Vineyard, Squire Oak, Hunting Hills, Century Hills, Southeastern Hills and Eastlake neighborhoods.

Residents in the testing area will be notified with a door hanger card a day or two before the testing begins.

Properties determined to have an improper sanitary sewer connection will be notified by the Division of Water Quality. Improper connections on private property are the responsibility of the property owner to repair.