Preventing sewer backups: Smoke testing reveals where to repair system

Published 11:44 am Monday, September 18, 2023

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As part of a long-term plan to improve Albert Lea’s stormwater system, the city of Albert Lea will conduct smoke testing of part of the sanitary sewer system today through Thursday.

Smoke testing identifies areas where stormwater enters the sanitary sewer system. When high volumes of precipitation enter the sewer system, the system can be overwhelmed, leading to sewage backups into basements or untreated discharges to the environment. I

dentifying the illicit connections allows the city to plan repairs to improve the system.

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CIT Sewer Solutions of McCallsburg, Iowa, is the contractor.

City staff will notify residents in person or by leaving a door hanger at their homes before the testing. The area will generally be north of Front Street, between First Avenue and Washington Avenue, and south of Fountain Street, with a portion of Park Avenue, Vine Avenue and Abbott Street included.

If you have questions about this study, please contact CIT Sewer Solutions at 515-434-2248 or Coltin Adams, project manager, at 515-291-9310.