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Posted on: June 22, 2018

Sewer Smoke Testing

Weather permitting, Boerne Utilities work crews will be conducting a smoke test survey beginning Monday, July 9. This testing will take about two weeks, and is a very effective way for crews to locate leaks, breaks, and defects in the city’s sewer system. Residents may see harmless smoke coming from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground. The smoke is non-toxic and non-staining, has no odor, is white to gray in color, and does not create a fire hazard.    

Crews will be testing lines in the “downtown” area of Boerne, from River Road in the south to Adler Road in the north, including the Hill Country Mile along Main Street. If there is any individual in your home or business who has respiratory problems and is immobile, please notify Boerne’s Public Works Department by calling (830) 248-1538.

Residents or business staff do not have to be at home or work while the test is being conducted, nor is it necessary for Boerne Utilities crews to enter any businesses or homes. However, in some cases, crews may need to enter rear yards to view vents and sewer laterals.

All Boerne Utilities crewmembers have official identification and wear City of Boerne uniform clothing. The Utilities Director, Mike Mann, has also requested that dog owners house any dogs that normally are loose in the back yard during the week of July 9.

"The smoke should not enter anyone’s home or business unless there is defective plumbing or dried up drain traps,” said Mann. “If smoke does enter a structure, there is good reason to assume that dangerous sewer gases may also be entering your home or business.”  

“If this occurs, people should evacuate immediately and notify our Boerne Utilities crews. If a resident is not home but returns to discover smoke, please call Public Works at (830) 248-1538 or Afterhours Emergency Number at (830) 248-1633,” added Mann.

Smoke testing is a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirement and used by most wastewater utilities around the country as a best practice.

Smoke Testing Street Map - July 2018

Click here for a larger map
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