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City of Courtenay conducting sewer system testing in Copperfield Ridge

“Smoke” testing will occur Dec. 5-6

The City of Courtenay will be conducting “smoke” testing of the sanitary sewer system in the Copperfield Ridge subdivision on Swanson Street on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and Thursday, Dec. 6. The neighbourhood is near the Arden Road and Cumberland Road intersection in west Courtenay.

“Smoke” testing is a commonly-used method to evaluate sewer systems and identify or locate cross-connections between sanitary and storm sewers.

This testing is performed by blowing a harmless vapour into a sewer. The “smoke” is not a real smoke, but rather a mist containing a large percentage of moisture. It is highly visible at low concentrations. The smoke is expected to exit from manholes, the sewer stack at the top of your house, catch basins and downspouts.

The smoke is non-toxic, leaves no residue or stains, and has no impact on plants or animals. However, if smoke enters your home or business, it may signal plumbing defects in your home.

Please contact Public Works Services at 250-338-1525 for more information. Please be aware of getting too close to the smoke as direct contact can cause minor respiratory irritation in some people. If you are within the testing areas and people in your building or residence have asthma, emphysema or some other respiratory condition, and are planning to remain in the building during the testing, please notify the City of Courtenay Public Works Department at 250-338-1525 or email so we can discuss your case in further detail.

For more information on smoke testing, visit

–City of Courtenay

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