Authority Seeks Out Sources of Unwanted Water Entering System

Authority Seeks Out Sources of Unwanted Water Entering System

January 21, 2014


​During the weeks of January 27th through February 7th the Bedford Regional Water Authority (“Authority”) will be performing smoke tests on the sanitary sewers in certain areas of the Town of Bedford. Notification will be provided to the homes that will be in the area of the smoke testing the week before testing begins.

These tests involve blowing harmless, simulated smoke into parts of the sanitary sewer system. The intention of the testing is to identify sources of unwanted rain water and ground water that may be entering the Authority’s sanitary sewer system. Storm water and ground water entering the sanitary sewer places is 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. These tests will also show any leaks in pipes.

“In doing this smoke testing, the Authority is working to create a more efficient sewer system to better serve our customers,” said Brian Key, Authority Executive Director. “We are identifying places where our system can be improved.”

During the testing people may notice smoke coming from roof vents, downspouts, cleanouts, sewer manholes, and inlets. The smoke will not enter a home or business if it is properly plumbed, vented, and all water traps contain water.

However, the Authority recommends taking the following precautions:

Check to see that all drain traps under basins, washing facilities, and floor drains contain water; simply flush toilets and run or pour approximately two to three cups of water into all drains, including unused fixtures and floor drains. Traps normally have water in them, but if the drain has not been used recently, the water may have evaporated. The water will help keep smoke from the testing from entering through the drain.

The simulated smoke used is non-toxic and harmless to humans, pets, food, and material items. If smoke does enter your building, it will clear in a few minutes with proper ventilation. If smoke does enter your building, please contact the Authority at 540-586-7679 extension 122.

Your presence is not necessary during the tests. All public safety authorities will be notified prior to the testing.

These tests will occur between 7:00am and 3:00pm; it is anticipated that the tests will be performed at the following locations:
• Ashland Ave
• Avenel Ave
• Bedford Ave
• Burwell Way
• College St
• Lake Dr
• Lakeview Ln
• Mountain Ave
• Peaks St
• Peaksview St
• Randolph St.
• Rendezvous Ln
• Shearer Ave
• Venable Dr
• Watson Place
• 2nd & 3rd St.

Other locations may be added, if necessary, to complete the testing process.

For more information visit for a full list of FAQs about the process. If you still have questions please call the Authority at 540-586-7679 extension 122.