Friday, July 19, 2024

Priest River announces sewer maintenance

| July 3, 2024 1:00 AM

PRIEST RIVER — The city of Priest River has scheduled city-wide sewer maintenance for the week of July 8.

The maintenance will include the jetting of sewer lines and conducting smoke tests in certain areas. If residents experience smoke coming out through their sewer pipes, residents should not be alarmed. The smoke is odorless and non-toxic and should dissipate within 20-30 minutes. 

Smoke testing identifies sources of surface inflow to sanitary sewers, which can reduce treatment plant efficiency, according to Superior Smoke officials on the company's website.

The test uses nontoxic smoke and high-capacity blowers to force smoke through sewer lines. Workers place a blower atop a manhole, pushing smoke into the sewer.

Smoke exiting the ground where no sewer connection exists indicates potential entry points for rain or surface water. Crews walk neighborhoods, photograph system faults where smoke emerges and mark spots for repair, officials said.

Potential sources of inflow and infiltration include roof downspouts, unconnected sewer lines, abandoned sewer lines, leaking manholes, cross-connected storm drains, broken laterals or mains, cross-connected sanitary lines, cellar drains, yard/foundation drains and sump pumps.

To prepare for testing, Superior Smoke officials said residents can pour a half-gallon of water in all basement floor drains or seldom used sink/shower drains. Seldom-used toilets should be flushed prior to the test as well.

This ensures that drain traps are filled with water and smoke will not enter the house through any normal, working sewer-line connections.

For questions or concerns, contact Priest River City Hall at 208-448-2123. For more information on smoke testing, go online to