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Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

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The Charles County, MD, Department of Public Works - Utilities uses smoke testing to find cracks, breaks, and other problems with sewer lines that need to be repaired or possibly replaced. If you would like to see a video that demonstrates what smoke testing is and how it is used, please click on the link below. Clicking on the link will take you to the YouTube© website, which is outside the website. If you do not want to visit the YouTube© website, please do not click on the link.

Please note that although this video was created by and for the Charleston Water System, it provides a good overview of how smoke testing works in Charles County as well.

The smoke is safe and non-toxic to humans and pets, but customers with respiratory issues should notify the Department at 301-609-7400 before smoke testing is to occur in your neighborhood.


  • Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

    • What is the purpose of smoke testing?

    • Public Notification (How will I be notified?)

    • How does smoke testing work?

    • What are the benefits of smoke testing?

    • Is the smoke harmful?

    • Will smoke testing of the sewers allow smoke to get into my home?

    • What does it mean if smoke enters my home?

    • How may the smoke enter my house?

    • What should I do if smoke gets into the house?

    • How long will the testing take?

    • What should I do to prepare for smoke testing?

    • Do I have to be home during testing?

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