Water Corporation will carry out smoke testing in the wastewater system in Northam, Western Australia, as part of a project to see how it can be better protected from stormwater intrusion during heavy rainfall events.

The testing will involve injecting liquid white smoke into the wastewater system through access chambers (manholes). The smoke will travel through pipes and if it escapes, will show where stormwater can get into the system.

Water Corporation Goldfields and Agricultural Regional Manager, Sharon Broad, said the testing may result in smoke coming through property gutters and external air vents, but there was no cause for alarm.

“We appreciate the understanding of the community while we carry out these important smoke tests,” Mrs Broad said.

“This testing is something we are experienced at doing, and I reassure residents the smoke is completely harmless to health.”

Mrs Broad said unseasonable wet weather in February 2017 caused a number of issues with the wastewater network in Northam when it was completely inundated with stormwater.

“Northam received 90.4mm of rain in a 48 hour period in February, and locals will remember how much water there was in town,” Mrs Broad said.
“Regrettably some wastewater overflows did occur and that is what we are trying to prevent through the smoke testing.”


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