Smoke Testing Program Summer 2024

Verona’s Smoke Testing Program 
Aims to Reduce Sewer Maintenance Costs

The purpose of this program is to pinpoint infiltration sources in the wastewater and sewer system. Unnecessary inflow can put a strain on the sewer system, leading to increased maintenance expenses and sewer backups. Infiltration into the wastewater system may arise from improper catch basins, roof drains, sump pumps, lawn drains, damaged sewer pipes, and open pipe joints.

Download smoke testing fact sheet

What is Smoke Testing?

To help identify infiltration sources, a non-toxic and non-staining smoke will be introduced into the sewer system through manholes. During the testing, smoke will be visible emanating from manhole covers in the streets and vent pipes of residential and commercial properties.

During the testing phase, non-toxic and non-staining artificially generated "smoke" will be blown into the wastewater/sewer system through access points. Although harmless to humans, pets, and plants, and furniture/drapes, individuals with respiratory conditions may find the smoke irritating. Those with respiratory issues should consider avoiding areas where testing is being conducted near manholes.

What do I do if I see smoke in/around my home?

In the event that smoke enters a home or business, while testing is being conducted in your area, occupants are advised to stay calm, open windows and doors for ventilation, and contact Public Works at 973-857-4806. Officials will assist in locating the source of the smoke entry and document for further assessment. If you are not aware of testing being conducted in your area and smoke is observed, dial 9-1-1.

When is this program expected to start?

Weather permitting, the smoke testing program is scheduled to start on or about the week of July 15th, 2024. 

The program will be conducted in township sections over an approximate 8-week timeframe. Residents will receive a notice 24 hours prior to testing beginning in your area from National Water Main Cleaning.

Each test takes approx. 30 minutes. Testing will only be performed once in your area, unless otherwise noted. It is not necessary for anyone to be present while the smoke testing program is being conducted.

Residents/Business Owners are encouraged to ensure that plumbing traps connected to sinks, tubs/showers, and floor drains contain water. This can be achieved by pouring three cups of water into the traps or running the faucet for a minute. If plumbing traps are not frequently used, they may dry out, allowing smoke and sewer gas to enter homes.

Additional Facts

  • The “smoke” is not really smoke,  it is artificially created, similar to a fog machine “smoke” is non-toxic and non staining
  • Plumes observed from plumbing vents and manhole rims during testing are normal
  • Door hangers will be distributed 24hrs in advance of testing being conducted in your area. 
    Notices will be distributed from National Water Main Cleaning.
  • The Township will be sending additional alerts via the emergency and community alert system "AlertVerona". 

Resident Notices/Door Hangers
Residents will receive a notice 24 hours prior to testing beginning in your area from National Water Main Cleaning. The notice will be hung on your door. See below for what the notice will look like

AlertVerona: Emergency & Community Alert Notification System

Don’t miss out on important information. Register for Verona Township's emergency and community alert notification system called AlertVerona, through the Smart 911platform. This system utilizes text messaging, voice calls and email which allows the Township to communicate real-time updates and alerts to residents much more effectively and on your preferred communicate channel of choice, phone, text, email, or all three.

We encourage all residents and/or caregivers of residents, as well as Verona businesses to register their cell phones and email addresses as soon as possible to avoid missing important public safety incidents, traffic alerts, power outages, hydrant flushing, severe weather alerts, overnight parking rules, and much more. Landline numbers will only be used for emergency incidents and are preregistered for anyone who does not have access to a cell phone or email.

The safety of our residents and businesses is our #1 priority so please do not miss out on this opportunity to be a well-informed citizen of Verona.
Please note: the previously used system NIXLE, has been phased out and is no longer in use.

Contact Information 

Department of Public Works
Chuck Molinaro, Superintendent