West of Market Street Sewer Investigation

Washing hands with toilet in the background

The City of Kirkland is investigation the sewer system in the neighborhood west of Market Street.  The project area encompasses the City’s sewer system west of Market Street, from Juanita Bay Park to Heritage Park, as shown on the map.

Three types of investigational tests will be used to determine the condition of the system and identify defects.  These investigations will temporarily impact residents and traffic in this area and will include smoke testing, dye testing, and side sewer inspections.  Additionally, flow monitoring will occur in the sewer pipes through February, 2023 to determine the infiltration of surface water into the sewer system.

The project report that outlines the findings from this study will be prepared over the next year. Identified defects will be repaired in the coming years to extend the life of the public infrastructure.

Smoke Testing

WHAT: Smoke testing will be conducted in the project area, by injecting non-toxic smoke into the sewer system.  The smoke will exit through your home’s roof vents, and other features that are connected to the sewer system.  Smoke may also exit through sources that are improperly connected to the sewer system such as downspouts or storm catch basins.  Smoke may also enter your home if you have P-traps or seals that are defective, dry, or missing.

WHEN: The smoke testing will be conducted between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., August 23-August 25 and August 30-September 1.   

HOW TO PREPARE:  It is recommended that you pour a gallon of water down all sinks and floor drains (once is enough) to make sure they are not dry.  Running water through your fixtures for two minutes is sufficient.   Please notify everyone at your home about the smoke test so nobody is caught unaware. 

WHAT TO DO: If you notice smoke inside your home during the test, do not be alarmed.  The smoke is non-toxic, leaves no residue, and creates no fire hazard.  Open your windows and doors and utilize fans to clear it out.  The smoke has a distinctive, but not unpleasant, odor.  Visibility and odor last only a few minutes where there is adequate ventilation.

If smoke enters your building because of a break or defect in internal plumbing, the potential also exists for dangerous sewer gases to enter your home.  To prevent this possibility (a rare occurrence), we recommend consulting a licensed plumber should smoke enter your building.

Dye Testing

Several areas will be dye tested as part of this project over a two week period. This will involve placing dyed water into sources suspected to be improperly connected to the City’s sewer system. These sources may include catch basins, downspouts, basement sump pumps, and other features that should be connected to the City’s storm system. Abnormally colored water may be observed at local beaches, in storm catch basins, and in the sewer system for short periods of time as a result of these dye tests. If you notice dyed water during these tests, do not be alarmed. 


Side Sewer Inspections

Several side sewers will be inspected as part of this project over a two week period. This will involve guiding a remote camera through private side sewers to inspect the condition of these pipes and if there are any additional connections. These side sewer inspections will be performed from within the sewer main, if possible. However, the side sewers may need to be accessed through cleanouts next to private residences.

Up to 40 homes will be randomly selected in this area will have their side sewers inspected as part of this phase of this project. If you are selected, you will also receive a Right-of-Entry Agreement that will need to be completed before this inspection can be performed on your property. Dye testing on private property may be performed as part of the side sewer inspections.



West of Market Neighborhood, Juanita Bay Park to Heritage Park,  98033  View Map

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