You may notice a smell like that of new plastic during the pipe repair process. This odor may be caused by an ingredient that is used to make many types of plastics and resins, including many household products. This ingredient is called styrene.

Styrene has a very low odor threshold and can be detected by its smell even when there are very small amounts of it present. As a result, persons living along the sewer lines may notice the distinct plastic smell during the new cured-in-place pipe process. You can minimize the possibility of odors migrating into your home or business by making sure your sewer connections are in proper working order and that you frequently run water into all the drains in your home or business, especially seldom used floor and laundry drains. This exercise will ensure that your property’s plumbing traps, which are designed to constantly hold water, have not dried out. They’re called traps because they do just that: trap water inside, preventing sewer gases from coming back into the building.

The release of styrene during the typical sewer rehabilitation process is in such small quantities that any risk to human health or the environment is minimal. It is established that styrene exists only briefly in the environment as it dissipates in the air very rapidly.