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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: email@example.com. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing clean and safe drinking water. For the previous year's sampling results please click here. To notify the city regarding water treatment concerns contact: Patrick Timoney, Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, Phn: 904.825.1044, Fax: 904.823-2280, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or email@example.com, or write the City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
One of the biggest challenges to operating an efficient sanitary sewer system is to ensure that all the water that needs treated gets treated, and that water that does not need treatment doesn’t get it. Seems simple, but when aging pipes allow rainwater or groundwater to enter the sewer system, a lot of water that does not need to be treated, gets treated; not an efficient use of resources.
The solution? Find the leaks and stops the leaks. That’s the basis of current inspections of the sanity sewer systems in the North Davis Shores area that will in coming weeks include smoke testing.
Nearly two years ago the City Commission took an important step towards addressing a variety of projects when it took steps to secure a bonds that would provide $22.5 million to invest in infrastructure projects that range from improved water service to street paving to much needed upgrades to the city’s firefighting equipment. Many of those projects have been completed while others are ongoing, including work to replace and repair the sanitary sewer system in North Davis Shores.
The project included replacement of two critical lift stations, and continues with work targeting the elimination of rainwater inflow and groundwater infiltration. Commonly referred to as “I&I,” the problem occurs when groundwater and/or rainwater enters the sanitary sewer system, travels through pump stations and ends up at the wastewater treatment plant necessitating its treatment just as if it were waste water.
When water that does not need to be treated enters the treatment system, the system is over burdened because it is handling much more water than necessary. For instance, when excessive rainwater enters the system it may result in sewage overflows from manholes into the streets or even has the potential to backup into homes. The fix is to find and eliminate areas where I&I creates such problems.
Currently, work to alleviate this problem is underway in the North Davis Shores. The first step was to inspect nearly four miles of sewer mains, and in problem areas inserting lining to keep unwanted water out. The next step is to test sewer laterals, pipes running from the main sewer line to homes or businesses, and their connections to determine other areas where there is intrusion into the system.
As simple as it seems, one of the most effective ways to find leaks or unintended pipe connections is to push smoke through specific sections of the sewer system and identify where it exits. In this case, where your see smoke exiting a plumbing fixture, drain or structure affiliated with the sanitary sewer system during the period of time the smoke testing is performed is not a fire. In fact it is a source of I&I.
Materials used to generate the smoke are non-toxic, harmless, virtually odorless, and do not create a fire hazard, nonetheless every effort is made to alert the public when there is smoke testing in their area. Public door hanger notification distributed to residents and commercial areas approximately one to three days in advance. The door hanger describes testing and what should be done in advance to minimize smoke from entering buildings. Residents do not need to be home during the testing, and contact information will be provided on the door hanger in the event smoke does enter a building.
Prior to smoke testing in a specific area, homes and business in that area notified of the pending test by way of door hangers with useful information and a phone number to call for more information.
Smoke should not enter into buildings unless leaks or plumbing defects exist, including faulty wax ring seals at the base of toilets, or infrequently used drains. In the case of drains, the public is advised to pour approximately 24 oz of water into each drain thus creating a barrier for the smoke. Drains can be prepared as soon as notification has been issued for testing in the area and need only be prepped once before testing in the area begins.
In the event smoke should enter a building, there is a chance smoke alarms may be activated. In such cases, rooms should be ventilated through an open window or door. Acute exposure can cause irritation of the respiratory system so occupants are urged to ventilate well to dissipate the smoke, leave the area if any irritation is experienced and use the contact information included on the door hanger to notify the authorities.
For more information, call the Public Works Department at 904.825.1040.