Smoke testing to start in Raglan

27 January 2017

If you see smoke coming from Raglan’s drainage system in the coming weeks, it should not be cause for alarm.

Waikato District Council will soon be smoke testing Raglan’s underground wastewater drainage system in the northeast section of town.

General Manager Service Delivery, Tim Harty says this work forms an important part of a district-wide assessment into the condition of Council’s underground pipes, especially in Raglan. 

“It is also part of Council’s ongoing commitment to improving wastewater infrastructure so that negative impacts associated with overflows or leaks can be minimised,” he says.

By doing this work, Council is looking for faults within the system such as stormwater downpipes being connected to the wastewater network. Wastewater systems should only be taking water from your toilets, shower, laundry and kitchen. If water from roofs or land is going into the wastewater network it can cause problems such as overflows of wastewater.

Smoke testing will be completed in stages from mid-February and the contractor carrying out the work for Council will need external access to each property for approximately 10-15 minutes. The contractors will not need to enter houses.

Raglan residents in the affected area will have already received a letter about the work and can expect to receive another letter a week prior to the work happening in their neighbourhood, along with some information on what the smoke testing will look like.

Further work via a closed circuit television (CCTV) pipe inspection programme is also planned to start in February as part of the district-wide assessment of Council’s underground pipes.

What is smoke testing?

During smoke testing, field crews blow air and smoke into the wastewater drainage system in the street and monitor where smoke escapes the system. The smoke under pressure will fill the main line as well as any connections and then follow the path of any leak to the ground surface, quickly revealing the source of the problem.