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Annual smoke testing will start in Northwest Fortuna

FORTUNA - Northwest Fortuna residents might see smoke Tuesday in the area, but it's just the city beginning it’s annual collection system smoke testing.

The system consists of pipes that send the city’s sewage down to the sewer system. Officials say, when the system has holes, rainwater and run-off can get into the sewer system causing more water to be treated. To minimize those costs, they use smoke to find the holes. The smoke machines are attached to manholes, where liquid smoke is pumped into the collection system and wherever the smoke comes out gives an indication where there could be a problem.

"Old infrastructures used to have everything go into the sewer and you might find one that was missed, while it was upgraded. So you have water that's going into a storm drain, that's making it's way, all the way to the sewer plant unintentionally and so this smoke will help us find those situations where water can be getting in," said Fortuna Utility Superintendent, Doug Culbert.

Officials say, the smoke is non-toxic, but if you see smoke coming out of your yard or in your home, you could have a broken pipe and you should contact a plumber.