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Posted on: July 6, 2018

Engineering Department to Begin Study of a Portion of the Sanitary Sewer Main

The Town of Highland Park has procured a consulting firm (RJN Group, Inc.) to study a portion of the Town’s sanitary sewer main, an area located west of Preston Road.

Work crews will be attempting to locate defects and cross connections in the sewer line by using a method called "smoke testing."

The method consists of blowing large volumes of smoke and air through a section of sewer line. Access to these sewer lines are granted by way of opening and entering sanitary sewer manholes and clean outs in streets, alleys, and easements. The smoke follows the path of least resistance to escape the sewer line which may come from various locations both indoor and outdoor.

The smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps. If you have seldom-used drains, such as unused bathrooms, guest house plumbing, up stair laundry drains, please pour water in them to fill the trap, which should prevent smoke from entering. Since building’s sewer plumbing is connected to Town’s main, some smoke will come out of your house’s roof vents. It is non-toxic, creates no fire hazard, and leaves no visible residue. The smoke has an odor similar to that of fireworks.

Wherever lines are being investigated, the crews from RJN will be identified with uniforms and badges as well as proper traffic warnings at setup locations. If needed, RJN crews will be conducting building inspections in order to identify potential sources of stormwater entering the sanitary sewer system.

During the building inspection program, RJN field crews may need access to homes to inspect basement sump pump connections. In addition to interior inspections, crews will evaluate potential outside sources such as downspouts with underground discharges and area drains.

RJN crews are trained only to identify potential sources of stormwater inflow to the sanitary sewer system and are not present to conduct any other building related inspection. There is no charge to the homeowner for these inspections. The inspection should take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Building inspections will be coordinated in advance prior to arriving on site.

Any questions may be directed to David Ferguson, Engineer Assistant. Email:, or by phone 214-559-9377.

See hyperlink for map below of testing areas. 

Map of testing area
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