Smoke testing of sewer system in Mullumbimby to commence

Image: Smoke testing, Interflow

Images: Interflow

Non-toxic, non-staining, and odourless smoke testing of Mullumbimby’s sewer system will commence from Monday 16 September to identify where stormwater may be incorrectly entering sewer pipes.

Byron Shire Council’s Manager Utilities, Mr Cameron Clark said identifying and resolving leaks, defects and incorrectly installed stormwater connections into Council’s sewer mains will help reduce incidences of flooding or overflow on private property.

Smoke testing involves the pumping of non-toxic, non-staining, odourless coloured smoke into a public sewer or manhole during dry weather. Smoke enters the sewer system and escapes through leaks, cracked pipes or incorrectly installed stormwater drains. Smoke may emerge from yards, roof gutters, pipes or street drains. The smoke is not flammable and will not cause any harm to people, pets or plants.

Specialist contractor, Interflow, will smoke test approximately 77 gravity sewer lines and associated private junctions in public areas within the main town area of Mullumbimby.

“Smoke testing is a standard testing procedure and an efficient and cost effective way to locate and identify leaks in the sewer system without the need for manned entry and with minimal disruption to residents”, Mr Clark said.

Interflow will also conduct bucket testing on sewer manholes to test the integrity of seals and identify points where stormwater may be entering the sewer system. Bucket testing involves pouring water around the concrete surround of the sewer maintenance hole and identifying where water may be infiltrating through the walls of the manhole within a one minute period.

Council’s sewer and stormwater mains in Mullumbimby were recently pressure cleaned and inspected for leaks and defects via CCTV inspection. The smoke and bucket testing will conclude the assessments on this infrastructure and will provide Council with a comprehensive understanding of the condition of its sewer and stormwater assets.

Mr Clark said the results of a recent residential survey will also add valuable data to Council’s Reducing Stormwater in Sewer project for Mullumbimby.

“The results of this work will further inform what action is taken,” Mr Clark said.

To stay informed about the Reducing Stormwater in Sewer project in Mullumbimby, Council have a project page online at

Categories: stormwater, sewer, sewearge, sewerage, sewage, utilities, water and sewer, reducing stormwater in sewer, inflow, infiltration, inflow and infiltration, community, mullumbimby, flooding, wastewater, smoke testing, sewer inspections
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