On Thursday, September 26, a contractor will begin conducting smoke tests in the downtown Lake Charles area in an effort "to locate defects in the ain sewer lines and service laterals that connect to private property", said a media release from the City of Lake Charles.

The tested areas include the Ryan Street interchange at I-10 proceeding south between Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Bilbo Street, with testing concluding on Clarence Street between Hodges Street and Lakeshore Drive.

Smoke testing is the process of injecting artificially produced smoke into a blocked off pipeline segment to see where the smoke emerges. If the sewer is in good condition then the forced smoke will emerge from manhole lids along the line or from house vents (on the roof).

Property owners in the affected area have been made aware via flyers. Fire, police, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes in the area have also been notified about the smoke testing.

The media release also gave a disclaimer for anyone with concerns, citing "the smoke is non-toxic, non-staining, and creates no fire hazard. You may see smoke coming from the vent stacks on building/homes, which is normal and a good sign that the plumbing is functioning properly. Smoke testing is one of the best, cost-effective ways to assess the condition of the sanitary sewer system".

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