The Calaveras County Water District will be conducting smoke testing on the portion of its sewer system along Moccasin Court in Copperopolis from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday January 31.

CCWD uses smoke testing to inspect main sewer lines and laterals. Smoke testing consists of blowing smoke mixed with large volumes of air through a manhole and into a portion of sewer line. The smoke travels through the path of least resistance and becomes visible at sites that allow surface water inflow. Smoke can help identify broken manholes, illegal connections (including roof drains plumbed into the sewer system), sump pumps and yard drains, uncapped clean-outs and can even show cracked mains and laterals. CCWD crews can use this information to make repairs and reduce the amount of infiltration and inflow (I&I) entering the sewer system.

The gray smoke used in the testing is nontoxic. The District will post signs alerting residents of the smoke testing to make sure nobody is alarmed by unexpected smoke. Local fire departments have been notified as well.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the smoke testing may contact CCWD Customer Service at (209) 754-3543 or

Written by Joel Metzger
Began work at CCWD on May 1, 2014.