Bradenton Beach sewer line smoke tests start Monday

BRADENTON BEACH – Manatee County will be smoke testing sewer lines in Bradenton Beach beginning on Monday, June 25 and ending on Wednesday, July 11.

A yellow door hanger bearing the county logo advises those with heart conditions, asthma, emphysema or respiratory conditions to call USSI at 888-645-9570.

“If you know of anyone in the area who is a special needs person or who may suffer a heart, lung or breathing problem, or a shift worker, please notify USSI at the number on this card,” the door hanger says.

On Friday afternoon, calls to the listed number and the three extensions cited on the automated greeting message resulted in no contact with USSI representatives. Calls to Manatee County’s Utilities Department produced similar results.

A call to County Administrator Ed Hunzeker’s office Friday afternoon resulted in the promise of a phone call from a county official on Monday to further explain the smoke testing.

Sewer Smoke Test
Door hangers bearing the county logo provide smoke test details and contact information. – Cindy Lane | Sun

“The smoke used for this test is manufactured for this process. The smoke leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plants and animals. Direct contact with the smoke may cause minor respiratory irritation in some people,” the door hanger says.

“Manatee County will be smoke testing sewer lines in the area to improve sewer service. This test, which involves forcing smoke through the sanitary sewer lines, will check for leaks, breaks, and defects in the system. The smoke is odorless, creates no fire hazard and should not enter homes or businesses unless you have defective plumbing or dried-up sink traps or floor drains,” the door hanger says.

“Crews will be in uniform for easy recognition. Homeowners do not need to be present; workers will not enter homes or disturb properties. Prior to testing, please pour two gallons of water in the seldom-used sinks or floor drains to prevent sewer gases, smoke or odor from entering the premises. If smoke does enter the home during testing, immediately leave from the building, notify the crews that are conducting the test or call Manatee County Customer Service (941-792-8811). If smoke enters the home, it is an indication of a plumbing defect, notify a plumber. Crews can assist in the location of defects on private property, however, the corrections of any defects are the responsibilities of the property owner,” the door hanger says.

“Smoke coming from the vent stacks on houses is normal. However, smoke coming from holes in the ground is not normal and is considered a defect. All defects will be photographed and logged. Manatee County will contact property owners if a defect is located on private property,” the door hanger says.

“The smoke test will be performed weekdays, weather permitting, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The smoke test should only affect the house for approximately 15 minutes. For additional information please contact 888-645-9579,” the door hanger says.