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Smoke testing scheduled for West Plains

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The city of West Plains and personnel from Burns & McDonnell out of Kansas City will conduct citywide smoke testing on the sanitary sewer lines between Aug. 15 and Sept. 30

According to city officials, West Plains is conducting smoke testing in order to possibly locate sewer defects before they become more serious, reduce the quantity and severity of sewer backups, lower costs of added sewer cleaning and treatment due to defects and better understand sewer connections within the system.

During the testing, residents will likely see smoke coming out of the ground, manhole covers and possibly out of homes. The smoke is nontoxic, non-staining, has no odor, is white to gray in color and creates no fire hazard. It will only enter buildings with defective plumbing or dry drain traps.

It is recommended, to prevent smoke from rising out of appropriately-connected drains inside their homes, that residents make sure that traps for all basement floor drains, other sink traps and plumbing fixtures are full of water by pouring about 3 cups (24 ounces) of water in each drain before the scheduled test. 

Smoke may be visible from the downspout, or gutters, which indicates a connection to the sanitary sewer system and is not a cause for alarm, said city officials.

While there is no reason to expect difficulties, noted city officials, the city wants to make the public aware of the testing. The West Plains police and fire departments have been notified of the planned testing and will know what areas of town are testing and when, officials added. 

Residents who see smoke are welcome to contact city hall at 417-256-7176. 

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