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Dale Avenue Pump Station Improvements
Below is information regarding some of the latest maintenance activities for the Dale Avenue Pump Station, located on Patricia Avenue.

This page will be updated with the latest announcements of activities that will impact homes surrounding this important facility that helps to maintain the health of our collective sewer system.
Smoke Tests – May 2012
  • The City of San Mateo will be testing the sanitary sewer system on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 from 9am to noon. (The test will be rescheduled if it rains on the day of the test.) 
  • A non-toxic smoke will be blown into sewer main system to reveal compromised points that can allow malodorous gases to escape into the atmosphere.
  • Locating and correcting these leaks is the main objective of these tests and one that will ensure the health of our collective sewer system and community.
  • If this test detects faulty sewer connections on private property that can negatively impact our community’s collective sewer health, you will be notified of the required improvements to your home’s connection to the sanitary sewer system.
How This May Impact You
  • You may see non-toxic, harmless, NON fire hazard smoke coming from vent stacks on buildings or holes in the ground. The smoke is manufactured specifically for this kind of testing, leaves no residuals or stains, and has no effects on plants or animals. It has a distinctive, but not unpleasant, odor. The visible smoke and odor last only a few minutes where there is adequate ventilation.
  • Sewer mains and manholes that cross property line easements or other rights-of-way may require investigation. Therefore, the crews will need access to the sewer mains and manholes. Clearing of some easements to facilitate access may be performed prior to the test.
  • This work is weather-dependent; we will need to reschedule for inclement weather.
How to Prepare Your Home
If you follow the instructions below, the smoke should not enter your home. Ensure that the following items in your home exist, are property installed, and are in good working order:
  • Vents connected to your building’s sewer lateral
  • Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers, floor drains, etc.
  • Pipes, connections, and seals of the building’s sewer system
  • No missing or improperly installed plugs
  • If you don't know how to check your home, please call a licensed plumber to assist
What to do prior to May 9, 2012
Image from wikipedia.orgAll residents who received a postcard in the mail are directed to:
  • During the week prior to May 9, 2012 pour water down ALL drains in your home or building to ensure that traps are full. This includes your laundry washer, any faucet, whether in kitchen, bath or garage, and your bath tub.
What do I do if smoke enters my home?
If you experience traces of this non-toxic “test smoke” or a malodor (similar to rotten eggs) in your home, it is an indication that odors from the sewer system (hydrogen sulfite) may also be entering. Hydrogen sulfite can be unpleasant and at higher levels, can be a potential health hazard. The location, identification, and correction of any possible odor entering your house is urgently advised.
The City of San Mateo can provide assistance in locating the source of smoke entering your house. However, correction of any defects in the pipes and sewer on private property is your responsibility.

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If you have any questions, please call the appropriate phone number listed below:
  • During Business Hours, contact the City at: (650) 522-7300
  • Urgent Assistance During Non-Business Hours: (650) 522-7350 
  • On the Day of Testing (May 9, 2012): Onsite consultant, Jeff Tarantino, Erier & Kalinowski, Inc. at (408) 242-1927

More Information
Fact Sheet
Frequently Asked Questions 

San Mateo City Hall – 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

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