Smoke Testing

Routine Testing of McKinney's Sanitary Sewer System


Testing Begins Soon


The City of McKinney will soon begin conducting routine surveying of its sanitary sewer system through smoke testing.
 
This process helps locate defective openings and inappropriate connections in the sewer system that allow rainwater runoff to enter, decreasing the system’s capacity and ability to handle normal flows.
 
Smoke testing requires crews to access manholes and force air combined with non-toxic smoke into the sewer mains to disclose the location of leaks and non-permitted connections.
 
A defect is detected if smoke is seen coming up out of the ground or other unexpected locations.

Smoke Testing

The smoke is non-toxic, creates no fire hazard, leaves no residue, dissipates quickly and is harmless, although those with respiratory issues may wish to take extra precautions such as leaving the home for a few hours until testing is complete.

 You Will Be Notified If Repairs Will Occur

If a sewer line needs repair, city crews will notify homeowners and begin immediately working to repair the sanitary sewer line.  If you see white smoke inside your home during the testing, open all doors and windows to ventilate your home. Take note of where the smoke is entering your house and email the Wastewater Department or call at 972-547-7360.

 Door hanger notification cards will be distributed to those impacted immediately before testing, and you can expect to see signs posted at intersections when crews are testing in that area. Testing will occur between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. McKinney Police and Fire departments are aware of the areas and the daily schedule for the smoke testing activities.

Frequently Asked Questions



  1. Is the smoke harmful?


    The smoke that is visible is non-toxic, harmless and creates no fire hazard.
  2. Will city crews need to enter my home during the smoke test?


    Crews will not enter your home during the smoke test.
  3. What if I see smoke in my house?


    If you see white smoke inside your home, open all doors and windows to ventilate your home. Take note of where the smoke is entering your house and email the Wastewater Department or call at 972-547-7360.
  4. Why is the city performing this smoke test?


    The smoke testing process is used as a way to locate defective openings and inappropriate connections in the sewer system that allow rainwater runoff to enter, which decreases the system’s capacity and ability to handle normal flows.
  5. How will I be notified when you will be working in my neighborhood?


    Homeowners will be notified with a door hanger one to three days before work begins on their street. Additionally, the city will notify residents via the Nextdoor social media platform. Project updates and work schedules will also be posted on the website.
  6. How long will city’s crews be working in my neighborhood?


    Crews typically will work on your street for less than a day, unless deficiencies are found in the sewer line. If the sewer line needs repair, city crews will notify homeowners and begin immediately working to repair the sanitary sewer line. The work will typically be done between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  7. Will my yard or sidewalk be disturbed during the smoke test?


    Crews may dig a small area in your yard to repair a sewer line if a deficiency is found, but will replace any sidewalks, driveways or grass removed in the process after work is completed.
  8. Who should I call with questions about the smoke testing on my street?


    Please email the City of McKinney Wastewater Department or call at 972-547-7360.
  9. What type of equipment will be working on my street?


    Crews will use service trucks, backhoes, dump trucks and bore rigs during the repair process.
  10. What times of day will you be working on my street?


    Crews will work 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  11. Who do I contact if damage is done to my property or if a data or utility line is cut during this project?


    Please email the Wastewater Department or call at 972-547-7360.