The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) will be carrying out an inflow and infiltration (I&I) study within the Suva Central Business District (CBD) sewer catchment on Saturday 06th of August, 2022.
The Suva CBD sewer catchment was identified as having the highest source of infiltration and exfiltration problems in its sewer systems.
Smoke testing involves forcing smoke-filled air through a sewer line. The smoke under pressure will fill the main line plus any connections; then follow the path of the leak to the ground surface, quickly revealing the source of the problem.
Our Wastewater Operations Teams will begin the smoke testing at Cumming Street and move towards the following streets Victoria Road, Cakobau Road, Holland Street, Gordon Street, Pratt Street, Butt Street, Ellery Street, Grieg Street, Renwick Road, Robertson Road, Marks Street, Nina Street, Robertson Road, Rodwell Road, Thurston Street, Southern Cross Road, Gladstone Road, Brown Street, Extension Road, Mal Street until the whole of Desbro and Robertson catchment is covered.
Smoke testing is the most efficient and cost-effective way to locate and identify infiltration and exfiltration problems in sewer systems.
This exercise assists WAF in identifying these problems and developing strategies that will ultimately lead to the increased capacity of the existing wastewater network in Suva CBD by reducing I&I, reducing overflow during rainy weather, and increasing the overall efficiency of the wastewater network within the Suva CBD.
Smoke should not be observed inside a building unless the building has inadequate plumbing or dried-up drain traps (such as the P-trap under a sink).
Please ensure that your drain traps are air tight by periodically pouring a few cups of water down each drain that is infrequently used, including sinks, laundry room floor drains, bathtubs, showers, unused washing machine drains, etc.
Smoke coming out of plumbing vent roof stacks is completely normal and is not a cause for alarm. If the plumbing system of your residence/business is adequate and all drain traps are full of water, smoke should not be seen indoors.
Smoke observed indoors during our testing indicates that a plumbing deficiency is allowing unpleasant and potentially hazardous gasses from the sanitary sewer system to enter the building.
Plumbing deficiencies that may cause this situation include:
• Vents connected to the building’s sewer lateral are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed.
• Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers, floor drains, etc. are dry, defective, improperly installed, or missing.
• Pipes, connections, and seals of the building’s sewer system including inspection chambers are damaged, defective, have plugs missing, or are improperly installed.
• Caps for sewer lateral cleanouts are broken or missing.
The “smoke” is not true smoke but rather a specially-formulated mist that is made up mostly of moisture from the atmosphere. The mist is non-toxic, has no ill effects on humans, animals and plants, and does not create a fire hazard.
The mist may have a weak but not unpleasant odor. This odor is distinctive and does not smell like the smoke produced from burning materials. Any visible mist indoors will dissipate within a few minutes with adequate ventilation.
Mist dissipation can be accelerated by opening windows and using ceiling fans.
We strongly advise that any source of smoke within a building be located, identified, and corrected by a licensed plumber in accordance with local codes.
The correction of any defects in building plumbing systems or in sewer pipes that are on private property is entirely the responsibility of the property owner.
If a deficiency is discovered on private property that allows storm water or debris to enter the sanitary sewer collection system, the location of the deficiency will be indicated with appropriate marking.
The customer and/or property owner may also be verbally notified of the deficiency by WAF personnel with written notification to be provided on the day of testing or within the coming days.
Failure to correct the deficiency within the permitted period is a violation and could result in appropriate legal action undertaken against the customer/property.
The below image shows the boundary of Suva CBD where smoke testing will be carried out by the WAF wastewater operations team.