Normally, if you experience smoke coming out of your toilet, it would be a great time to call someone. Perhaps a plumber, the City of Billings Public Works Department, the fire department, your family physician or maybe a even a priest. Taco Bell jokes aside, it's not normal to see smoke coming from your sewer system. However, in certain areas around Billings this week, residents may notice smoke coming from sewer vents, manhole covers, house vent stacks or holes in the ground.

According to a news release from City of Billings Project manager Randy Straus, the city is conducting smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (11/11 - 11/13) in the following areas:

  • West and south of Lake Elmo
  • North of Lake Hills Golf Course
  • West of Rose Park

Residents affected by the test should have received an informational letter regarding the testing process, and a "door knocker" should be stopping by a day or so before the testing is set to occur. During the testing, customers and traveling public may notice white or gray colored smoke appearing from sewer vents and other areas. The smoke is harmless, non-toxic and is not a fire hazard, although you may notice a slight sulfur odor. Residents are asked to pour at least a quart of water down any basement sewer drains to prevent smoke from possibly entering your house.

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If you have any questions regarding the testing, please contact the City of Billings Public Works office at 406-657-8301.

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