Vapour testing to identify potential wastewater issues

Manawatū District Council will be using contractor Veolia to conduct vapour testing of the wastewater networks in Sanson and Rongotea during June and July.

Vapour testing (also known as smoke testing) is used to identify issues in the pipe network such as leaks and damages, or cross connections between the stormwater and wastewater systems. Observers will be looking for vapour escaping from stormwater drains, which will indicate if there’s a potential issue.

Stormwater entering into the wastewater network can lead to sewage overflows, or it can lead to issues at the treatment plant by increasing our chemical and power usage.

The vapour that Veolia will be using is the same that is used in smoke machines that people may have at home or have seen used in shows and concerts. It’s non-toxic to humans, animals, and plants, but there is a chance that the vapour could cause some minor respiratory irritation in some people.

The testing is done to identify issues with council’s pipe system, however, some residents may notice vapour coming into their homes and if this happens, it could be that there is an issue with the plumbing that needs to be fixed.

Should any vapour enter into someone’s home, people are asked to open their windows and doors to allow the vapour to ventilate out. There is a chance that the vapour may activate smoke alarms if it does enter into a home.

Council will be using the information collected from the testing to get an accurate picture of the state of the wastewater network and identify components that need replacing or repair.

Letters are being sent to affected residents to inform them that vapour testing is happening.

For more information about vapour testing and what's involved, please click here.