The City of Baxter will be conducting smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system over the next two months. The testing will begin the week of August 27, 2018 and is scheduled to conclude in October.The study involves accessing the sanitary sewer manholes located in the streets and utility easements. A special smoke will be blown into the sanitary sewer system to reveal leaks, defects and cross- connections with storm sewer or surface water collection systems.

A non-toxic smoke will be used for the tests. The smoke is designed for this purpose, leaves no residue or stains, and has no effect on the health of plants, animals or humans. The smoke has a distinctive, but not unpleasant odor and lasts for only a few minutes with proper ventilation.

Because plumbing appliances in your house or building are connected to the sanitary sewer system, some smoke may enter your home or place of business if:

  • vents connected to your building’s sewer pipes are inadequate, defective or improperly installed
  • traps under sinks, tubes, basins, showers or other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed or missing
  • Pipes, connections and seals of the plumbing system in and under your buildings are leaking, damaged, defective or improperly installed

All residents and property owners are advised that if traces of this smoke or its odor enter your home or building, it is an indication that gases and odors from the sanitary sewer system may also enter. Sewer gas can be unpleasant and dangerous. Sewer gas entering your home or building poses a health risk to the occupants and should not be ignored.

Should this smoke or odor enter your home or business, please contact a member of the smoke testing crew working in your area. The crew member will be able to assist you with locating the source of the smoke and where it is entering your building. Location, identification and correction of the source of the smoke that enters your building is strongly advised. If you are unsure if the smoke is related to the City’s project, please contact 911.

Your cooperation in this investigation will be greatly appreciated. The information gathered by this testing will be used to improve the sanitary sewer system and reduce operation and maintenance costs.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Aric Welch, Project Engineer at 218-316-3645 or by email at

Smoke Testing Fluid Material Safety Data Sheet

Smoke Testing Candle Material Safety Data Sheet