Plans for water service interruptions and certain other work


Smoke testing in area including Markham Drive, Old Oxford Road and Ridgecrest Road planned for the week of August 28, 2017 

Thursday, August 17, 2017 11:14:00 AM
In the week of August 28th to September 1st, we plan to test our sewers in an area including Markham Drive, Old Oxford Road and Ridgecrest Drive as shown below by putting non-toxic smoke into the sewers. 
Weather or other conditions may delay the start or completion of our work.
The purpose of the testing is to find locations where:
  • There are leaks or other openings in OWASA sewers and in private service pipes that drain to our sanitary sewer system. Openings in our sewers will be corrected to help keep stormwater and groundwater out of the OWASA sewer system, which is designed to collect wastewater. If excessive stormwater or groundwater gets into a sewer, a wastewater overflow may occur. If a private service line is missing the cap on the “clean-out” pipe or has other openings, we will contact the property owner.
  • Storm drains are connected (improperly) to OWASA’s sanitary sewer system. 
  • There are unauthorized connections to an OWASA sewer.
You may see smoke from OWASA’s testing come out of plumbing system vent pipes above the roof of a house or other building. This is expected and does not indicate a problem in the plumbing system
The smoke from OWASA’s testing should not get into the interior of a house or other building if there are no cracks, loose fittings/connections or other openings in the plumbing system. 
However, smoke from the testing can get inside a building if there are cracks, openings, loose connections, etc. in the plumbing system, or if the “P-trap” under a sink, in a floor drain or in a toilet is dry. For more information about P traps, please click here.
If you believe a p-trap is dry due to lack of use, etc., please run water in the sink, flush the toilet or pour water in the drain to fill the P-trap. 
We are alerting the Police and Fire Departments about our testing.
If you have renters in the area where we will test our sewers, please share this information with them and/or ask them to contact us if they have questions or comments.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during our work.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact:
Ted Shaffer, Crew Supervisor, Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Systems 
919-537-4256 or