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Wednesday, August 10th, 2005 -- 9:02 AM

As we reported a couple weeks ago, the City of Neillsville is turning to ?smoke testing? to try to find why so much extra water is running through its sanitary sewer system. The treatment facility constantly peaks after rainstorms ? that shouldn?t happen. City engineer Dave Hansen says it?s likely because there is infiltration and connections to the sewer system that shouldn?t be.

The smoke testing will begin on Monday and run through the end of the month.

City Public Works Director Dave Flynn wants people aware the testing is taking place. During the testing, a dense grayish/white smoke will be blown through the sanitary sewers. Smoke will then appear from any roof drains, catch basins or house vent stacks connected to the sewer. In addition, the smoke may appear from cracks in the pavement above the sewer, from lawns, or around homes which have foundation drains connected the sanitary sewer system.

Resident are encouraged to pour water down all floor drains, sinks and other plumbing fixtures to prevent smoke from appearing in their basements. Flynn says the smoke is non-staining and has proven harmless. Still, it may irritate nasal passages for a short period of time.

Crews will begin testing in the southern part of the city and work their way north. If you have any questions, you may call the public works department at 743-5678.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.