The City of Oak Ridge Public Works Department continues to utilize state-of-the-art technology to perform inspections of the City’s sewer system. This technology employs a sonar machine that emits a repeating series of tones, similar to a musical scale and in open areas can be heard over long distances. The tones emitted by the machine, while harmless, are low enough in frequency that residents nearby may be able to feel, and in some instances hear them. 

Testing is scheduled to begin in early October and continue through November and will be concentrated in the Preserve at Clinch River development area. Weather constraints and other factors could delay the inspections. Residents will notice signage posted on main roads stating, “Acoustic Sewer Inspection in Area” while crews are working in their neighborhoods.

Questions can be directed to the Public Works information line at (865) 425-3619 or email More specific information may also be found on our website at