For immediate release
Sept. 18, 2023
Media contact: Mitch Johnson, City of Albert Lea utilities superintendent, at [email protected] or 507-377-4377

Preventing sewer backups: Smoke testing reveals where to repair system

As part of a long-term plan to improve Albert Lea’s stormwater system, the City of Albert Lea will conduct smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system in part of the city today through Thursday. Smoke testing identifies areas where stormwater enters the sanitary sewer system, overwhelming the capacity of the system which could lead to sewage backing up into basements or being discharged to the environment without treatment. Identifying the illicit connections allows the city to plan repairs to improve the system.

CIT Sewer Solutions of McCallsburg Iowa is the contractor. City staff will notify residents in person or by leaving a door hanger at their homes before the testing. The area will generally be north of Front Street, between First Avenue and Washington Avenue, and south of Fountain Street, with a portion of Park Avenue, Vine Avenue and Abbott Street included.

If you have questions about this study, please contact CIT Sewer Solutions at 515-434-2248 or Coltin Adams, project manager, at 515-291-9310.


The City of Albert Lea’s mission is to deliver exceptional services that enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.