The Henrico Department of Public Utilities conducted routine smoke tests of the Gillies Creek area subbasin sanitary sewers in February and March. The testing involved opening manholes and blowing harmless smoke through the sewer system to locate defects and leaks.
Residents were asked to pour water into seldom used drains to fill the trap. That prevented sewer gases, smoke or odors from entering their building.
Once the testing began, smoke was seen coming from the roof vent stacks on houses, building foundations, manhole covers, storm inlets, and holes in the ground. The smoke was non-toxic, clean, harmless to humans, pets, food and material goods. It created no fire hazard. The smoke did not enter homes unless there was defective plumbing or dried up drain traps.
If smoke did enter a home, residents were told to consult a licensed plumber to correct the plumbing problem.
This testing was done in Henrico County by the Henrico County Department of Public Utilities employees, but impacted residents along the Henrico-Richmond boundary in the Gillies Creek area. The Henrico contact telephone number is 501-4992.