Neon green water helps KC Water prevent sewer backups - KCTV5

Neon green water helps KC Water prevent sewer backups

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Checking the condition of those pipes involves a small camera on wheels and some powder that turns neon green.  The process is called dye testing. (KCTV5) Checking the condition of those pipes involves a small camera on wheels and some powder that turns neon green.  The process is called dye testing. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Underneath Kansas City’s streets and lawns lies more than 2,800 miles of sewer mains. 

Checking the condition of those pipes involves a small camera on wheels and some powder that turns neon green.  The process is called dye testing.

KC Water says problems with the sanitary sewer system can lead to basement backups. That’s why the process is so important.  

When a customer reports a sinkhole or sewer smell, KC Water sends an investigation team. One tool they have is dye. They sprinkle it into the system and it turns the normally gray water bright green. A robotic camera then follows the colored water to the source of the problem.

“We drive the camera up to the where the dye is coming in.  We see exactly where it’s entering the sewer,” KC Water Engineering Technician Brandon Taylor said.

Once identified, the break or fracture is recorded and sent to a repair crew.

KC Water says they use two colors of dye. Red is used to confirm the location of a service line to a property.  Green is used for cave-ins and sinkholes and also in storm drains which is why you might see stories posted on local media about green dye in a local stream or creek.

The dye is easy to see, but it isn’t dangerous says KC Water Stormwater Engineer Technician Cedric Augmom. “It’s basically like food coloring.  It will dissolve and disintegrate after a period of time.”

KC Water says the perform dye testing every day.

They say finding the problems and making repairs helps prevent sewer backups from happening to Kansas City homes.

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