Smoke tests for St. Catharines sewers

A heads up for some St. Catharines residents who may spot smoke.

The city will be smoke testing to check for issues with sanitary sewer lines starting next week.

Smoke testing forces a highly visible, non-toxic smoke into sanitary sewers, simulating water flows, to identify entrance and exit points for water. 

Crews are set to begin smoke testing in north St. Catharines Monday, Sept. 17 and will move to 14 other neighbourhoods over the next month-and-a-half. Smoke testing is expected to be complete by Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Once testing is complete the City will have a better understanding of sanitary sewer issues both above and below ground. 

Residents should not be concerned if they see smoke exiting from vent stacks, catch basins, manhole covers or green spaces, as this is a normal part of smoke testing. 

The smoke will not stain clothing, draperies or furniture, and has no known effects on humans, plants or animals. 

To avoid smoke entering their homes, residents in the area are advised to run water for one to five minutes in each drain, including infrequently used drains like basement rough-ins. 
Water only needs to be run once during the smoke testing period.

Smoke testing is being completed by Thompson Flow Investigations (TQI) on behalf of the City. 

If residents see or smell smoke in their home and are concerned they can report it to the personnel in their neighbourhood conducting the smoke testing or contact Citizens First at 905.688.5600 or