During the month of April, the Village of Niles and consulting engineer Hey and Associates will
conduct smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system in certain areas of the Village. A smoke
test survey will assist our inspection crews in locating breaks and defects in our sewer system.
This allows us to identify sources of unwanted rain water (inflow) and ground water
(infiltration) that may be entering the Village’s sanitary sewer system. Storm water and ground
water entering the sanitary sewer places an unnecessary (and expensive) burden on the pipes
and the sewage treatment facility. It may also cause sewage backups in homes via improper
connections such as roof downspouts, building foundation drains, and storm drains. The smoke
seen coming from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground is non-toxic, non-staining,
has no odor, is white to gray in color and creates no fire hazard.
Smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain taps.
It is advisable for the home owner to pour a gallon of water into each floor drain prior to our
testing, especially seldom used drains and floor drains in your basement, slab floor or garage.
Notice will be provided to all homeowners prior to the testing by a door hanger, however is
subject to change based upon weather conditions.
If smoke enters your home, there is reason to believe that dangerous sewer gases may also be
entering your home or business. You should come outside immediately and notify our work
crews. If you are not home and discover smoke when you return, please call us at 224-234-
8091 so it can be properly documented.
IMPORTANT! If there is any individual in your home/business who has respiratory problems and
is immobile, please notify us at 224-234-8091 prior to testing.
Attached, please find more information about the smoke testing process and areas to be