Hunter Water is continuously working to improve the quality and reliability of its wastewater (sewer) system. Inspections and maintenance are undertaken on an ongoing basis to help ensure a high quality service to customers.
What is smoke testing?
Smoke testing may be used for routine maintenance, to investigate reported odours, and to identify where stormwater is entering the sewer system.
Smoke is pumped into the sewer network and where the smoke escapes helps locate potential faults.
- Smoke escaping from Hunter Water's pipes, pumping stations, hatches and other structures helps identify where Hunter Water needs to make repairs to its system.
- Smoke escaping from drainage grates and gutters on a customer's property, or inside their home through drains in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry, may indicate the customer needs to make repairs to their plumbing.
Testing of Hunter Water's system
Hunter Water uses smoke to test its above and below ground pipes and equipment. You may notice smoke rising from Hunter Water's structures in the street or in reserves near your home. Hunter Water will have employees or contractors on site to undertake the testing. You do not need to take any action or report the smoke. The smoke does not indicate a fire.
Will the smoke enter my property?
If you notice smoke rising from outside drains and gutters on your property, or if the smoke enters your home through the laundry, kitchen or bathroom, it may indicate you need to make repairs to your plumbing. Call Hunter Water's Customer Contact Centre on 1300 657 657 or email for more information and advice.
Will the smoke harm my health?
The smoke is artificial, odourless and non-toxic. The smoke will only enter your home or office if there is defective plumbing. If this is the case, the smoke will clear in a short time with normal ventilation.
Testing for stormwater connections
Hunter Water also uses smoke testing to check if there are illegal stormwater connections on residential or business premises. These connections occur when downpipes and drains are connected to the sewer system instead of the stormwater drain. If Hunter Water is testing for stormwater connections in your street you will receive information about the project before work begins near your home.