The City of Pittsfield announced today that it is planning to conduct smoke and dye testing in the coming months. What the heck is that, you ask?

The test will detect illegal connections...

According to a media release today from the Office of Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, the smoke and dye testing is used to detect illegal inflow connections to the city's sanitary sewer systems. The testing is basically done because these illegal connections can cause a considerable cost to city taxpayers.

Director of Administrative Services, Ricardo Morales says that "Inflow" is described as any stormwater, or rain and snow melt, that makes its way into the city's sanitary system.


Why is that important to me?

Morales says that when there is an illegal connection, stormwater that does not need to be treated flows to the wastewater treatment plant, and that puts undue strain on the system.

When there is heavy rainfall, the sanitary sewer cannot handle the excess flow from inflow. This leads to sanitary sewer overflows of untreated wastewater into one’s home, street, and yard. It also affects the treatment plant’s ability to treat wastewater.


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The city says that it is implementing an educational campaign about what it calls the detrimental impacts of inflow.

Where can I get more information on this...

For more information, a list of stormwater and sewer do’s and don’ts is available on the
Department of Public Utilities’ page:

The city says that when they are available, the smoke and dye testing dates will be shared with the public.


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