Sewer smoke testing begins in Norfolk

WAVY/Deanna LeBlanc

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The city of Norfolk is using smoke to test the condition of sewer pipes and manholes, to determine which ones are most in need of repair.

The inspection program began in Norfolk August 27. It will expand to other local cities in the fall.

HRSD, the regional wastewater treatment utility, will blow artificially created smoke into a manhole to determine if there are any leaks in the sewer system. Crews will know there is a leak when the smoke escapes the pipe through cracks.

Residents in each testing area will receive notification at least five days before it begins on their street, that will explain the process in detail. While HRSD says the smoke is not harmful to humans or pets, if smoke enters your home during the testing, HRSD says you should notify the contractor immediately and open windows to allow ventilation.

If you have any other questions or concerns about the smoke testing, call 757-518-2428 or email

Click here for the Smoke Testing Schedule. HRSD says it is subject to change.


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