City Utilities encourages residents to sign up for email notifications of combined sewer overflows

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — City Utilities is reminding Fort Wayne residents that they can receive an email notification when the city’s combined sewer system is discharging into area rivers. 

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) requires communities with combined sewers to provide notice when combined sewer overflows (CSO) occur or are likely to occur, the press release said.

Fort Wayne’s combined sewer system carries sanitary sewage to the Water Pollution Control Plant (sewage treatment) in dry weather.  In wet weather when it rains or snow is melting, these same sewers also collect stormwater runoff, the city said. Many times when it is raining the combined sewer pipes get too full and some of the excess flow is discharged to the rivers. Fort Wayne is one of 105 communities in Indiana where this occurs.

If a CSO discharge is imminent or is occurring, Fort Wayne City Utilities will notify interested individuals and organizations via email.  Individuals interested in receiving the notification may subscribe to the City’s notification system here.

Those wanting to subscribe will be asked to enter an email address and will receive a confirmation message asking if they want to subscribe. Residents may unsubscribe at any time.  

The email includes a strong recommendation that people avoid direct contact with the water in the rivers and other stream segments affected by CSO discharges for a 72-hour period following a CSO event, the city said. The public notification system is intended to help residents identify those periods when the water may not be safe the human contact.

Combined sewer overflows can affect the following areas:

  • St. Joseph River from Coliseum Boulevard to the confluence of the Maumee River
  • St. Mary’s River from Airport Expressway to the confluence of the Maumee River
  • Maumee River from the confluence of the St. Joseph River and the St. Mary’s River through the City of New Haven to the Platter Road bridge over the Maumee River in Milan Township.

Fort Wayne is working hard to reduce the number of times the combined sewer system discharges each year.  In 2008, the city reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and IDEM on a plan to reduce combined sewer overflows by over 90% by 2025.

More information about the City’s long term control plan for reducing combined sewer overflows may be found at: http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/utilities/combined-sewers.html

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