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Lillington, North Carolina

Community on the Cape Fear

Smoke Testing in Lillington

The Public Works Department is using smoke testing methods to trace groundwater inflow and infiltration into
the sewer system. When pipes are broken, rain water flows directly into the system, exceeding the water
volume for which the system was designed.

Smoke Testing is Currently Underway in the Shaded Area of the Map Below.

Smoke testing utilizes a gas powered engine, placed on top of an open manhole and linked to a blower fan. A 
non-toxic, non-staining chemical is added to the exhaust of the motor, which is converted into smoke and fills
the void in the piping buried underground. If a 
pipe is broken, smoke will come out of the ground alerting staff
to areas that need repair.

Smoke testing sometimes leads to calls to the Fire Department when residents have observed smoke in their
homes. During testing, smoke may enter homes due to a bad wax ring seal under a toilet, a bad plumbing joint
in a crawl space, or a dried out p-trap on a plumbing fixture. The smoke has no odor, appears light gray in
color, and will not act like smoke from a fire. In most occasions, as long as vent stacks on the house are not
clogged, the smoke will pass thru the plumbing and out the home’s vent stack.

If you have questions please contact the Town of Lillington Public Works Department 910-893-0318.