Smoke testing of sanitary sewer system in San Jose


The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. would like to inform the general public that there will be a smoke-test on the Sanitary Sewer Collection System (SSCS) in the San Jose area beginning Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 through Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. This smoke-testing is part of CUC’s continuing effort to provide a safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound SSCS.

The purpose of the smoke-testing procedures is to locate leaks, breaks, illegal connections, and other defects in CUC’s SSCS. The process involves blowing a non-toxic smoke into the manholes of the SSCS. If there are any defects in the area, the non-toxic smoke will be emitted through the defect and documented by our SSCS team.

Smoke-testing procedures have been recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an effective means of identifying problem areas in the SSCS. Eliminating system defects and illegal connections will help our community remain in compliance with the federal legislation regarding system maintenance and preventing sanitary sewer overflow.

The smoke is odorless, creates no fire hazard and will not enter your home or business unless you have defective plumbing or dried-up sink traps, or floor drains. The smoke-testing should only affect your property for approximately 15 minutes. Again, the smoke used for this test is manufactured strictly for this purpose, leaves no residuals or stains and has no lasting effects on property, humans, animals or plants. Direct inhalation of the smoke may cause temporary minor respiratory irritation in some people who suffer from respiratory issues.

Prior to our smoke-testing, please pour two gallons of water in any seldom-used sinks and floor drains to prevent sewer gases, smoke, and odors from entering the premises. If smoke does enter your home during testing, immediately remove yourself from the building, notify the CUC Team that are conducting the test or call CUC’s Wastewater Operations Division at (670) 322-5033.

If people in your building suffer from a heart condition, asthma, emphysema, or some other respiratory condition and are planning to stay in the building during testing, or if a person is bedridden, has a chronic illness, or has difficulty understanding any part of this public notice, please notify CUC Wastewater Operations at (670) 322-5032/3 to discuss your specific case.

CUC apologizes for any inconvenience resulting from this smoke testing project. For more information, contact the CUC Customer Call Center (664-4282) or monitor our Facebook page for the latest updates ( (PR)

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