Pipes up in smoke but no fire

Inglewood's smoky sewers sparked a false alarm for the fire brigade yesterday.

Since Friday last week the New Plymouth District Council sewerage management team has been looking for illegal connections in Inglewood by blowing non-toxic smoke into the town's stormwater pipes.

The council's acting manager of water and waste operations, Graeme Pool, said residents had been told to expect to see smoke travelling up house sewer pipes and out of roof vents.

“People shouldn't be concerned if they see smoke coming out the vent pipe of their house," Mr Pool said.

“We'll be testing the sewer pipes by sections and making a letter-drop to each home the day before testing in their area is done.”

Apparently that wasn't enough for some people.

Inglewood fire station chief officer Cameron Gillespie said two fire crews from Inglewood were called to Rimu St at 10am yesterday morning.

While they knew about the smoke testing in the area they had to treat it as an emergency, he said.

"When we got called to it we had an idea that's what it would be but you still have to go to it anyway," Mr Gillespie said.

Smoke seen spilling out from roofing initially had the firefighters themselves concerned it was the real thing, he said.

"It did look quite spectacular."

The crews would rather be called out to a false alarm and turned away than not called out when it was a real emergency, he said.

It is hoped the smoke testing will help identify areas causing flooding in parts of Inglewood.

Taranaki Daily News