The City of Fitchburg, Wastewater Division, is beginning the investigation of sewers in your area. The purpose of the project is to remove rain water runoff from entering the sanitary sewer system, which causes raw sewage to overflow to the Nashua River during rain events. This project is mandated by the City’s Federal Court settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On behalf of the City of Fitchburg, Weston & Sampson will be conducting smoke testing of sanitary sewers from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. between September 27 and October 22, 2021, weather dependent. Smoke testing will be conducted in the downtown area from Main Street to Whittemore Street, between Ashburnham Hill Road and Blossom Street. Please see the reverse side of this notice for the map of the project area.
During the test, white smoke is introduced to the sanitary sewer system via a smoke-generating machine. During this procedure, white smoke will be venting from holes in manhole covers located in the street and from plumbing vent pipes located on or near your roof surface. THIS IS NORMAL AND SHOULD NOT CAUSE ALARM. In addition, drone technology may be used to identify smoke in areas that are not visible from the ground level. During this time, a drone may be visible/audible in the downtown area of the City.
Smoke should not enter your premises unless there is a dry trap in an unused fixture or a defect in your plumbing. You may wish to pour two gallons of water down any basement floor drains or unused plumbing fixtures to ensure that the drain trap will be effective.
Should smoke be detected within your building, do not be alarmed. The smoke is NON-TOXIC, NON-STAINING, and dissipates quickly through open windows. IF YOU HAVE A LUNG AILMENT or RESPIRATORY CONDITION SUCH AS ASTHMA OR EMPHYSEMA, STAY AWAY FROM THE SMOKE. Any smoke within a building should be immediately reported to the persons conducting the tests.
PRIOR TO SMOKE TESTING, THE CITY OF FITCHBURG MUST IDENTIFY LOCATIONS OF RESIDENTS WITH POOR HEALTH CONDITIONS. ALTHOUGH THE SMOKE IS NON-TOXIC AND NON-STAINING, IT IS CAPABLE OF CAUSING IRRITATION, ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WITH LUNG AILMENTS SUCH AS ASTHMA OR EMPHYSEMA. IF YOU HAVE A RELATED HEALTH CONDITION, PLEASE CONTACT WESTON & SAMPSON AT (978) 548-4808. PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE INCLUDING YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBER SO THAT APPROPRIATE PRECAUTIONS MAY BE TAKEN. THE TEST WILL BE PERFORMED ONE TO THREE BUSINESS DAYS AFTER YOU RECEIVE THE NOTICE AT YOUR HOME, PENDING WEATHER CONDITIONS.
• YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE AT HOME DURING THE SMOKE TESTING.
• IF YOU WORK DURING THE DAY, PLEASE TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO VENTILATE THE AREA WHERE YOUR PET WILL BE.
• IF YOU HAVE A FLAT ROOF, YOU MAY HAVE A ROOF DRAIN CONNECTED TO THE CITY’S SEWER SYSTEM. FURTHER INVESTIGATION MAY BE REQUIRED (AS DESCRIBED BELOW) WHICH COULD REQUIRE ACCESS TO YOUR ROOF.
Following smoke testing, Weston & Sampson will be conducting dye testing of defects identified in the smoke testing areas. During the procedure, fluorescent green dye may be visible in the sanitary sewers, drains, and receiving water bodies. THE DYE IS NON-TOXIC AND BIODEGRADABLE AND SHOULD NOT CAUSE ALARM.