2016 Cherry Park Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing Project

Current Status (November 18, 2016)

Smoke testing work was completed in the Cherry Park area on November 14, 2016. Thank you for your patience during this important project. The next phase of the sanitary sewer evaluation study will be to inspect the manholes. Project updates on this work will be provided over the next several weeks.  

Project Description

The City of Batavia has contracted with RJN Group, Inc. of Wheaton, Illinois, to perform smoke testing beginning this October and work is expected to be completed by mid-November. If you live in an area that will be impacted by smoke testing, you can expect to receive a notification letter in the mail the week of October 24, 2016. Additional notification will be provided by door hanger cards 24 - 72 hours before the smoke testing is to start in your area and signs will be posted at highly visible intersections when the crews are testing. 

Smoke Testing Work

Smoke testing is a way to locate leaks in the sewer system that can lead to high sewer flows during storms and snow melt events and cause inconvenient and expensive sanitary sewer backups. Air combined with non-toxic smoke is forced into the sewer lines to indicate the location of cracks in the pipes and connections to storm water systems. Smoke can be seen coming up out of the ground where there are defects in the lines. For instance, if smoke permeates up through a yard, it indicates breaks in the sewer line. Smoke testing also identifies roof drains, patio drains and footing drains that are connected to the sewer system.

(1-8 to 1-9) 578 Lincoln Ct -- Storm Inlet

Benefits of Smoke Testing

Smoke testing is a very efficient and cost effective way to locate and identify where unauthorized water is entering the public portion of the sewer system. The smoke is harmless and will disappear after only a few minutes. The testing is also a cost-effective way to find areas of the sewer system that need improvement. Smoke testing will also help identify plumbing leaks in buildings. Sewer gases can cause health problems for building occupants.

Work Schedule and Locations

The consultant, RJN Group, has tentatively scheduled for smoke testing work to start the week of October 31, 2016. The work should be completed within 2-3 weeks, weather permitting.
View a Map of the 2016 Smoke Testing Area
View the Smoke Testing Resident Notification Letter

What to Expect

Smoke will not enter buildings unless there is defective plumbing or drain traps that are dried up. It is expected – and normal – for smoke to come out of the sewer vent stack on the roof of a home during the test.
Some sewer lines and manholes may be located in back yards. Homeowners do not need to be home during testing and field crews are not required to enter your business or residence. Work crews may need to access your back yard. If possible, please leave any gates unlocked. RJN Group personnel will be identified with uniforms and badges.


You should always feel free to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. If you believe smoke is entering your home from smoke testing, simply open a window and the smoke will dissipate quickly. Also, notify the crew that is conducting the tests by contacting a member of the crew on the street or the RJN Field Crew Leader at 630-639-1914. If the RJN field crew is no longer in the area you may contact RJN Group’s office at 630-682-4700.

Additional Information

For concerns or questions, please contact Catherine Buckley of RJN Group at 630-682-4700 ext. 383 or the City of Batavia Water Department at 630-454-2450. 
If you would like to receive daily project updates for work on your street please forward your email address to cbuckley@rjnmail.com