City of San Carlos - Smoke Testing - Sewer Lines
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Notice of Smoke Testing of Sanitary Sewer Lines

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E2 Consulting Engineers, under the direction of the Public Works department will be smoke testing sanitary sewer lines within San Carlos.  Work will occur on October 16th and 17th
smoke testing

The City of San Carlos is embarking on a smoke testing project to locate sources of unwanted storm water entering the City’s sewer system.

On October 16th and 17th, E2 Consulting Engineers will be smoke testing the sanitary sewer lines in Basin 14 (Including homes North of Brittan Ave, east of Rock Ridge Rd, south of Elizabeth St. and west of Orange Ave) shown in the map below.

Smoke testing involves blowing harmless smoke into parts of the sewer system to identify damage, improper connections, and defects where unwanted storm water may be entering the City’s sewer system.  As a result, smoke may be seen coming from roof vents, building foundations, catch basins, clean-outs, downspouts, sewer laterals or manhole covers. The smoke will not enter your home or business if it is properly plumbed, vented, and the water traps contain water.

The smoke used is a non-toxic substance that is harmless to humans, pets, food, and material items. If smoke does enter the building, it will clear in a few minutes with proper ventilation. It is possible that the smoke could cause a smoke detector or fire alarm to sound.  Please advise a representative of the smoke testing crew outside of your home or business if any leakage occurs.

Your presence is not required during the tests, though access to your property may be needed to properly identify sewer defects. Public safety authorities have been notified of this event. We would appreciate it if you would mention this notice to your neighbors in case they have not received a notice. Thank you for your cooperation.

If you have any questions about the test, be they health issues or other concerns, contact: 

  • Jeff Blum,  E2 Consulting Engineers at (510) 652-1164 Ext. 799
  • San Carlos Public Works Department at (650) 802-4212

Please visit our website at for schedule updates, maps and frequently asked questions with respect to Smoke Testing.

 Caution to Residents
Water can evaporate from unused plumbing fixtures. If you have accessory structures, bathrooms or plumbing fixtures that are not being used or are seldom used, traps should be filled by running water in the fixtures, for at least five minutes, the day before the scheduled smoke testing and on a monthly basis thereafter in order to prevent sewer gas from entering the home or office. P Trap Holding Water 

Map of Basin 14

Map of Basin 14 - San Carlos