The Lake Arrowhead Community Services District uses a Smoke Testing procedure to identify deficiencies in the sewer system. Smoke testing is the fastest and most economical method for identifying breaks within sewer lines. These breaks can cause odor problems or allow water to flow into the system, particularly during storms, which increases the demand on the District’s wastewater treatment plant and can overload the system.
The District has approximately 300 miles of pipeline. Smoke is introduced into a limited section of the main line and escapes from any openings to the surface, revealing the location of faults in the system.
During a test, residents may see smoke coming from vent stacks on buildings or from holes in the ground, which is part of the testing process. The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, is non-staining, does not create a fire hazard and clears within a few minutes. While the smoke is not harmful, residents with concerns about small animals or individuals with respiratory problems should avoid unnecessary exposure to the smoke and may wish to open doors and windows on the day of the test or leave the building for the day. All smoke, even from candles, can cause irritation of breathing passages. The degree of irritation depends on the level of exposure as well as an individual’s tolerance to the smoke.
The smoke will not enter your home unless you have defective plumping or dried up drain traps. If the water in drain traps has evaporated, it’s possible for smoke to be pushed through that area and enter the building. To ensure accurate test results, customers should pour water into any unused sink or drain in and around their property to seal the drain traps. If smoke still enters your home, you could have a defect in your system which may be allowing dangerous sewer gases to enter. If this occurs, evacuate the house immediately and notify the District at (909) 336-7100.
The District will announce the locations where smoke testing is occurring on the home page of this website and on social media.