Smoke testing is a commonly used method to evaluate sewers, identify failed sanitary sewers and locate connections between sanitary and storm sewers. The municipal wastewater treatment plant is experiencing very high flows during intense rainfall events that is causing operational difficulties and has the potential for allowing untreated wastewater to enter the Mississippi River. The extra volume of water is believed to be coming from a connection between the stormwater and sanitary collection systems. Public Works crews have searched for this connection, but have not been successful. Methods used to date include physical inspections, dye testing and examining existing records and drawings.
This testing program will be limited to the downtown area and along Levee road. Residents outside of that area will not be impacted.
Public Works staff is making a concerted effort to notify property owners and residents of this work. There will be public service announcements on Channel 6, in the newspaper and on the radio. The anticipated schedule and progress will be noticed on the City website at www.red-wing.org and notifications will be left on door knobs 1-2 days prior to the testing in each area.
This testing cannot be conducted during rainy periods, so it is possible that the schedule could be modified at the last minute.