In order to locate breaks and defects in the sewerage system, a systematic inspection program may be conducted by Council. As part of this inspection program, our inspectors will need to enter private properties to check sewerage pipes for possible points of stormwater entry to the sewerage system.

Smoke testing process

To check for entry of stormwater into the sewers, inspectors will "smoke bomb" the sewer system by forcing smoke up the Council sewer pipes and into house drainage pipes. 

The smoke is non-toxic, non-staining and has no odour, is white to grey in colour and does not create a fire hazard. The smoke should not enter your home/business unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps. Smoke coming from broken pipes, grates or downpipes may indicate that stormwater enters the sewer from your property and/or sewer gases may also be entering your home or business.

Detecting illegal stormwater connections

If a downpipe is suspected of being connected to sewerage pipes, fluorescent dye is dropped down the pipe. The illegal connection is confirmed if the dye enters our sewer.

If any defects which could allow stormwater to enter are located within a house drainage system, or any other points of entry for stormwater are identified during the inspection we will notify the property owner of the fault.

Defects within the house drainage system will need to be rectified by a licensed plumber.

Testing in your area 

Residents in affected areas will be notified before carrying out sewer smoke testing. View current public notices.

It is advisable for residents to check their house drainage by a licenced plumber and rectify any defective work prior to Council’s inspection program.

If smoke testing is being undertaken in your area and there is an individual in your home or business who has respiratory problems and is immobile, please contact us.

When carrying out inspections, staff will carry identification cards that must be produced on request.