Why are smoke tests conducted and how are they to the benefit of the residents of the parish?

Smoke testing is an important tool municipalities like the City-Parish often use to find leaks or defects in sewer main lines, sewer laterals, and service lines. This also helps inform where we need to prioritize sewer inspections or sewer line rehabilitation. Smoke testing involves the opening and entering of manholes in the streets and easements. Occasionally, residents may see smoke coming from vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground. It is important to note that this smoke is non-toxic, harmless, has no odor, and creates no fire hazard. The smoke should not enter a resident’s home unless there is defective plumbing or drive-up drain taps. If smoke does enter a resident’s home, they can contact DES at  225-389-4865.Any time we are conducting smoke testing, we conduct outreach in the local area, including passing out flyers to each residence in the impacted area a week before the testing begins. The fire department and 911 call center are also notified every morning with our exact location so that they can inform callers who may be alarmed by the smoke testing taking place and to advise callers to look for crews outside, which helps confirm this is in fact a result of smoke testing and not an actual house fire. Residents can prevent smoke from coming in their homes by adding a few cups of water to their drains, particularly if they are seldomly used. They should also run their air conditioner at least once per week to fill the condensation trap.

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1. Why are smoke tests conducted and how are they to the benefit of the residents of the parish?
2. How do I report issues such as sewer overflows, illegal dumping, missed garbage and recycling service?
3. What materials are unsafe to put down my sink drain or flush down my toilet?