24 Hour Notice

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The Town of Cary will be conducting leak tests of the sanitary sewer system in your area within the next 24 hours, weather permitting.

This smoke test will reveal places where storm and surface waters are entering the Town’s sewers and where sources of sewer odors may exist. A letter explaining this testing has also been mailed to the owner of this property.

The testing consists of forcing a special, non-toxic smoke into the sewer lines in your neighborhood.

  • The smoke is manufactured for this purpose and leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plants and animals.
  • Direct long-term contact with the smoke may cause some minor irritation such as sneezing, scratchy throat, and/or watery eyes. However, the duration of the testing in your area will be limited to reduce the potential of such symptoms occurring.

To avoid smoke unnecessarily entering your structure, we advise residents to run water into all of the drains for one minute, especially those used infrequently.

Smoke should not enter your structure unless:

  • You have defective, damaged, or improperly installed traps, tubs, basins, shower, pipes, and connections, or;
  • Infrequently used drains are dry

If you do see or smell smoke in your structure, immediately report it to the Department of Public Works and Utilities.

  • This may mean that harmful gases from the sewer may have been entering your structure.
  • Location, identification, and correction of the source of smoke entering your house is strongly recommended.
  • Do not be concerned if you see testing smoke coming from your rooftop sewer vents, this is normal.
  • While the Town’s Department of Public Works and Utilities will render all possible assistance, the correction of any defects in the pipes and sewer on private property is the responsibility of the property owner.

If you have any questions, please call 311 or (919) 469-4090.

As part of the smoke testing process, you may notice paint markings in the street, curb, or grass. The paint is temporary and will disappear over time. The markings are used as a reference for Town of Cary personnel. The markings do not necessarily mean you have a problem.