PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Pittsfield wants residents to be aware of the upcoming testing of the city’s sewer system.

Smoke and dye testing will be conducted over the next few months in an effort to detect illegal inflow connections to sanitary sewer systems. Inflow is usually stormwater runoff from rain or melting snow that enters the city’s sewer system through street storm drains.

Residents may be unaware they have an illegal connection, and stormwater from their property that doesn’t need to be treated flows to the wastewater treatment plant, straining the sanitary sewer system. The smoke and dye tests will help identify where runoff water is originating from.

“When there is heavy rainfall, the sanitary sewer cannot handle the excess flow from inflow,” said Commissioner Ricardo Morales, of the Department of Public Services and Utilities. “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.”

The city has provided a list of stormwater and sewer do’s and don’ts on their website. If any property owner is concerned about an illegal connection on their property they can contact the city’s Engineering Department at 413-499-9327 to make a request for an engineer to make an inspection.