Smoke testing program

We are continuously working to improve the quality and reliability of our wastewater system. Inspections and maintenance are undertaken on an ongoing basis to help ensure a high quality service to customers. Smoke testing may be used for routine maintenance, to investigate reported odours, and to identify where stormwater is entering the sewer system. We also use smoke testing to check if there are illegal stormwater connections on residential or business premises.

Upcoming work

We have engaged a contractor, Interflow, to carry out routine smoke testing of our wastewater (sewer) system in the suburbs of Boolaroo, Waratah, Dudley, Kotara , Garden Suburb, Belmont and Belmont North as part of our maintenance program. The work involves smoke testing Hunter Water’s sewer mains (wastewater pipes) and property connections to the wastewater network.

Smoke testing in Boolaroo, Waratah, Dudley, Kotara/ Garden Suburb and Belmont/ Belmont North

We will be conducting smoke testing of the wastewater system and connections located:

  • between TC Frith Avenue and Milburn Circuit, and Second Street and Fourth Street, Boolaroo, and
  • on Vera Street, King Street and Lorna Street, Waratah West and Maud Street and Prince Street, Waratah
  • between Thomas Street and Ocean Street, and Cooper Street and Knoll Avenue, Dudley
  • located between Prospect Road and the Newcastle Inner City Bypass, and Irvine Street and Myall Road, Kotara/ Garden Suburb
  • various locations across Belmont and Belmont North.

We plan to carry out the smoke testing in Boolaroo from Monday 18 March 2024 and Waratah from Monday 25 March and it is expected to take up to two weeks to complete. Dudley will take slightly longer and should start from Wednesday 27 March 2024. Kotara/ Garden Suburb is scheduled from Wednesday 17 April and could take 2 weeks to complete. Belmont/ Belmont North is a larger test area which will start from Wednesday 1 May and take up to 4 weeks. These timeframes are site and weather dependant.

Most activity will be carried out between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), however the contractor may need to arrange testing of some properties between on a Saturday.

You do not need to be home during the smoke testing and at no time will our crews need to enter residences or buildings.

You may notice additional noise, construction vehicles in the area and some smoke-fog in both yours and surrounding properties where the sewer pipes are located and connected to each property.

For any enquiries about the smoke testing, please contact Interflow’s Community Relations Manager Terri Sommerville on 0403 651 562 or email

Todays smoke testing

Smoke testing will continue in Dudley on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 April 2024 at:

  • George Street
  • Caldwell Avenue
  • Ivy Street
  • Knoll Avenue
  • Sheridan Close
  • Durford Street
  • Lyndhurt Street
  • Ocean Street
  • Eden Close
  • Bathurst Street
  • Garrawilla Crescent
  • Bombala Street

How we undertake smoke testing

We use smoke to test our above and below ground pipes and equipment. Work involves using a smoke-fog generating machine to direct smoke into our wastewater pipelines and monitoring them to see if or where smoke comes out. You may notice smoke rising from our structures in the street or in reserves near your home.

  • Smoke from our assets - Smoke escaping from our pipes, pumping stations, hatches and other structures helps identify where we need to make repairs to our system.
  • Smoke at a customer's property - 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.

The smoke-fog used in the testing is non-toxic and will disappear quickly. We will have 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.

Frequently asked questions

Thirsty for more advice?

If you need more advice on our smoking testing program, get your questions answered by contacting our team.