March 27, 2014
Valdosta, GA - Smoke testing is the process of pumping smoke in to sewage lines in order to check for cracked pipes.
"From my personal experience, I think The City is doing the best it can do", says Robert Hastings, the Treasurer for Valdosta's Wood Valley HOA.
Residents of the Wood Valley neighborhood are no stranger to flooding and sewage problems. Thursday, smoke testing crews with The City of Valdosta surveyed the subdivision, as part of the smoke testing occuring throughout the entire wastewater system.
"We've tried to hit the areas that have been impacted most first; put a priority on those areas. We've been able to find several problems that look like they could be on the point of being major problems", says William Crocker, Crew Leader for the smoke testing crew.
"Crews actually found a defect in one of the sewer lines Thursday morning out on Pinecliff Road. They say they will mark the spot, GPS it, take a lot of photos, and send all of that information in a report over to The City."
The contracted crews began smoke testing last January and will continue testing portions of Valdosta over the next four years.
"Basically, if we can get out here and do the smoke testing now, we can find these leaks before the lines actually collapse. And The City can get out here and repair these small problems, before they turn in to big ones" says Cocker.
Sementha Matthews with The City of Valdosta says smoke testing is the best way to be proactive about issues in the sewer line until the new wastewater treatment facility is built.