City of Ames to conduct smoke testing in south campus and Campustown areas

Frances Myers

The city of Ames will be conducting smoke tests on sanitary and sewer lines in the Campustown and south campus areas beginning Thursday, June 21, and continuing through July 20.

The study is citywide and will be a continuation of the study being done on the sanitary sewer system by the city of Ames. The purpose of the study is to try to “define the sources of extra flows in the sewers that should not be there and develop a program to reduce or eliminate the flows,” according to a press release from the city of Ames. It will include video inspection and smoke testing of all city owned and operated sanitary sewer lines.

The testing will consist of blowing liquid smoke into the sewer lines to determine the condition of the sewer. This smoke is non-toxic and does not stain. If waste water is in compliance with the Ames Plumbing Code, smoke will not enter a house or business, unless there is an existent dry trap or defect in the plumbing.

Residents or businesses with floor drains in the basement or other seldomly used drains or sinks are recommended to pour a pail of water down each one to keep the traps full.

If smoke is seen entering a house or business, residents are instructed to contact Veenstra and Kimm, Inc., employees who should be visible on the street nearby. These employees will assist the resident in clearing the smoke and possibly point out defects in the plumbing system that should be corrected. Veenstra and Kimm, Inc., of West Des Moines, has been hired by the city of Ames to conduct this study, along with two other firms assisting in the efforts.

Anyone with questions or looking for more information is encouraged to call the city of Ames’ Public Works Department at 515-239-5160 or Greg Roth of Veenstra & Kimm at 515-225-8000.