Smoke Test Help Crews Locate Sewer Problems in Anderson Co. -

Smoke Test Help Crews Locate Sewer Problems in Anderson Co.

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Seeping from the ground, storm grates and even house vents--the smoke scene caught many Anderson County homeowners off guard, Tuesday.

"Something we don't see," said neighbor Lisa Corn. "We knew something serious was going on."

All the smoke is the county's way of testing aging pipe systems possibly damaged by all the recent rain.

“Our number one goal is to prevent any type of sewer overflows," said County Wastewater Manager Derrick Singleton. "If we can pinpoint these small minor problems now hopefully it will prevent major problems in the future."

Anderson County says all the heavy rain is taking a toll on its sewer system. It's seen $500,000 in damages so far. Now the county wants to track down pipe problems before they turn into major sewage spills. That's why crews are performing smoke tests in some of the hardest hit communities.

A machine pumps liquid smoke through the underground system. Smoke coming out of manholes and rooftops is okay. But when it's coming from yards and other unlikely places, crews say that's where groundwater can seep into the sewer system and create an overflow.

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