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County conducting smoke testing in Cleveland community

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CLAYTON — The Johnston County Public Utilities Department will smoke test the sewer system in the Cleveland community during the first three weeks of September.

The testing area includes the Interstate 40 and N.C. 42 interchange area and the Cleveland Road and North and South Shiloh road intersection area.

Johnston County Public Utilities Director Chandra Farmer said the work involves opening and entering street manholes and public utility easements.

“The county will use a nontoxic smoke designed especially for this type of testing,” said Farmer. “The smoke leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plant or animal life.”

Farmer said the smoke has an odor she described as “distinctive, but not unpleasant.”

In areas with adequate ventilation, Hickey said the visible smoke and odor only lasts a few minutes.

“The testing will identify potential sources or areas of surface water or stormwater infiltration into the county’s wastewater collection system,” said Farmer. “The county will use this information to make necessary corrective repairs, prevent infiltration into the wastewater collection system and improve sewer services in the area.”

If traces of smoke or odor enters houses or buildings, it indicates gases and odors from the sewer may also enter. Farmer said those who notice smoke entering businesses or homes should call the public utilities department at 919-209-8333.

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