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Section of downtown Antigo is smoky today as sewers are tested
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The west side of Antigo's downtown had a bit of a smoky aroma this morning and there were plenty of flashing lights and even an airborne drone on patrol, but there was no disaster in the making.

Instead, it was the beginning of a two day process with the city, in conjunction with Ruekert-Mielke consultants, “smoke outing” issues with the sanitary sewer system in advance of the Fifth Avenue reconstruction project next year.

Today and Wednesday, smoke canisters are being introduced into the system in a 400 acres area roundly bound by Fourth Avenue, Aurora Street, 10th Avenue and Deleglise Street.

Propelled by fans, the white or gray smoke, which is harmless and non-staining, follows the path of least resistance through all the piping and vents that make up the sanitary system, and that means that it is seeping out of cracks and cross-connections, dry drain traps and other problem areas.

“Our goal is to identify unwanted clear water that is entering the sanitary sewer system,” Mark Desotell, the city's director of administrative services, explained. “We're looking for the big things and a smoke test allows us to cover a large area quickly.”

That clean water could include everything from groundwater leaking into cracked underground pipes to rainwater entering the system from improperly connected roof drains to cross-connections that may have happened at some time in the past. That seeps into the city's sewer system at a rate of about 300,000 to 500,000 gallons a day, increasing treatment costs and adding to wear-and-tear on equipment. That water also runs afoul of the micro-organisms that help break down the waste.

The best way to ensure that smoke does not enter a building is to pour a pitcher of water down any basement floor drains and any other seldom used plumbing fixtures prior to the test.

The smoke will dissipate rapidly, leaving no residual odor, although it might not be a bad idea to make sure a window or two is open the days of the test.

But there could be special concerns for some. Even though the materials used in the smoke tests have been analyzed and declared safe, those suffering from heart or lung diseases, such as emphysema, should vacate the building prior to testing. In addition, those who are housebound or who anticipate being asleep during the test, such as shift workers, should make other arrangements on the testing days. Confined pets should be moved from the premises if there is any likelihood of direct exposure to the smoke during the process.

Throughout the program, survey teams, assisted by drones, are monitoring the area. Firefighting crews are also be on hand with smoke-eaters.

Crews started in the northwest corner of the area, west of Superior Street, this morning. They will shift to the northeast side and move south on Wednesday.
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Gene DePrey of Ruekert-Mielke consultants introduces a smoke canister into the city's sanitary sewer system in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue this morning.

Section of downtown Antigo is smoky today as sewers are tested
space
The west side of Antigo's downtown had a bit of a smoky aroma this morning and there were plenty of flashing lights and even an airborne drone on patrol, but there was no disaster in the making.

Instead, it was the beginning of a two day process with the city, in conjunction with Ruekert-Mielke consultants, “smoke outing” issues with the sanitary sewer system in advance of the Fifth Avenue reconstruction project next year.

Today and Wednesday, smoke canisters are being introduced into the system in a 400 acres area roundly bound by Fourth Avenue, Aurora Street, 10th Avenue and Deleglise Street.

Propelled by fans, the white or gray smoke, which is harmless and non-staining, follows the path of least resistance through all the piping and vents that make up the sanitary system, and that means that it is seeping out of cracks and cross-connections, dry drain traps and other problem areas.

“Our goal is to identify unwanted clear water that is entering the sanitary sewer system,” Mark Desotell, the city's director of administrative services, explained. “We're looking for the big things and a smoke test allows us to cover a large area quickly.”

That clean water could include everything from groundwater leaking into cracked underground pipes to rainwater entering the system from improperly connected roof drains to cross-connections that may have happened at some time in the past. That seeps into the city's sewer system at a rate of about 300,000 to 500,000 gallons a day, increasing treatment costs and adding to wear-and-tear on equipment. That water also runs afoul of the micro-organisms that help break down the waste.

The best way to ensure that smoke does not enter a building is to pour a pitcher of water down any basement floor drains and any other seldom used plumbing fixtures prior to the test.

The smoke will dissipate rapidly, leaving no residual odor, although it might not be a bad idea to make sure a window or two is open the days of the test.

But there could be special concerns for some. Even though the materials used in the smoke tests have been analyzed and declared safe, those suffering from heart or lung diseases, such as emphysema, should vacate the building prior to testing. In addition, those who are housebound or who anticipate being asleep during the test, such as shift workers, should make other arrangements on the testing days. Confined pets should be moved from the premises if there is any likelihood of direct exposure to the smoke during the process.

Throughout the program, survey teams, assisted by drones, are monitoring the area. Firefighting crews are also be on hand with smoke-eaters.

Crews started in the northwest corner of the area, west of Superior Street, this morning. They will shift to the northeast side and move south on Wednesday.
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Gene DePrey of Ruekert-Mielke consultants introduces a smoke canister into the city's sanitary sewer system in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue this morning.
2019
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

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