Smoke testing of sewerage lines a first for district

​Bright red smoke will be used in an effort to detect any leaks in some of the town's wastewater pipes as Taupo District Council moves to minimise potential for sewage overflows. 

In a first for the district, the smoke testing of sewerage lines in the Matai Street, Miro Street, Tauhara Road, and Elizabeth Street areas will take place between 8am and 5pm from this coming Monday (6 November) and is expected to take two to three weeks. 

It will involve the pumping of red marker smoke into the sewer lines to identify any leaks in the system and schedule remedial action. 

Though this method is common overseas and elsewhere in New Zealand, infrastructure manager Denis Lewis said it was the first time it would be used here. 

"Testing in this way means we can identify any issues that would normally go undetected and get on to remedial action before it becomes a matter of urgency," said Mr Lewis. "The smoke is non-toxic and has a distinctive though not unpleasant odour, which will dissipate quickly with adequate ventilation and leave no residue or stain." 

"If traces of this smoke or its odour enters your house or building, this is an indication that gases and odours from the sewer may also enter," Mr Lewis said. "These can be both unpleasant as well as a health risk to the occupants, so it is important we are proactive in detecting any issues." 

If you notice smoke entering your home or business please make contact with a member of the smoke testing crew who will be on site in the area or call Robbie Sherrock on 027 406 6638. 

The testing is scheduled to continue for two to three weeks, and should be completed no later than the end of November. 


3 November 2017


Andy Taylor • Senior Communications Advisor • 07 376 0781 • 027 570 4651

Lisa Nairne • Communications Manager • 07 376 0762 • 027 839 8410

Page reviewed: 06 Nov 2017 8:19am