City Utilities looks back on accomplishments in 2020 and goals for new year

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – In 2020, City Utilities took part in many community investments from improving neighborhood water mains and the MamaJo project to partnerships in education and award recognition. Here is a look back at what City Utilities accomplished this year and it’s hopes for 2021.


City Utilities moved forward with more than $100 million in water, sanitary and storm improvements in more than 90 neighborhoods. The department says a similar investment will continue in 2021. Their goal is to replace 70 miles in 5 years:

  • In 2020, some of the larger water main projects were in the Southwood Park, Fairmont, Crestwood Colony, Hamilton, and Frances Slocum neighborhoods. 
  • In 2021, water main replacements will occur in the neighborhoods of Oakdale, Harrison Hill, Fairfield, Glenwood Park, Southwood Park, Fairmont, West Central.

City Utilities is continuing to work in neighborhoods to improve drainage and stormwater flow:

  • In 2020, projects took place in the Brookside, Parkerdale, Vesey/Quimby Village Phase l, Hessen Cassel, and Limberlost neighborhoods. 
  • In 2021, stormwater projects will continue along with Hessen Cassel with phases 2&3, Blackhawk, Colonial Heritage, Hollywood Gardens, the Lincolndale Drain, and Ardmore Avenue near Airport Expressway, among others.

MamaJo, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), continues drilling the deep-rock tunnel to protect area rivers, neighborhoods and homes as part of the Consent Decree and the Long-Term Control Plan:

  • MamaJo is now south of Jefferson Boulevard and has completed more than 3 miles of her nearly 5-mile journey.
  • When completed, the tunnel and related projects will keep nearly 1 billion gallons of combined sewage out of our rivers each year.
  • 2021 starts year 14 of the 18-year Consent Decree plan to improve our sewer system and protect our rivers. 
  • In the first 13 years, more than 1 billion gallons of combined sewage has been kept out of our rivers.
  • In the first 13 years, work was done in 200 neighborhoods, protecting more than 33,000 homes. 
  • In the first 13 years, we completed work ahead of time on the St. Joseph River and have not had a sewage overflow on that river in nearly 44 months. 
  • In the first 13 years, investments of $665 million, supported 19,000 construction and related jobs, most of which are local companies.

Partnerships with Education

City Utilities continues partnering with higher education and K-12.  

  • In 2020, City Utilities continued its commitment to our community by hiring nearly 20 interns in a variety of positions. These students were from universities throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Additionally, in a partnership with the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club, City Utilities has established a scholarship fund to aid these students and develop and retain needed northeast Indiana talent.
  • In 2020, City Utilities celebrated year 11 of the partnership with the FWCS Career Academy’s Concrete Crew. Students are paid and get hands-on experience at repairing sidewalks, curbs and streets after a pipe replacement or repair.
  • In 2021, City Utilities is working with Northrop High School to develop an internship program.

Maintained by City Utilities – By the Numbers

  • 1,428 miles of water main
  • 1,449 miles of sewer pipe
  • 697 miles of stormwater pipe
  • 27,722 Sewer manholes
  • 10,680 Stormwater manholes
  • 21,649 Stormwater inlets

City Utilities 2020 Awards

20 Year Director’s Award for Water Distribution 

This national award was presented for a thorough and high level of performance and performance improvement in the water distribution system for 20 years in a row, the press release said. Award presented by the American Water Works Partnership for Safe Water. Of the more than 11,400 community-owned surface water utilities in the U.S., City Utilities was one of only 37 to receive the award. 

2020 Gold Peak Performance Award 

This national award was presented to the Water Pollution Control Plant for having no violations of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits in the 2019 year, the press release said. On average, the Water Pollution Control Plant treats more than 57 million gallons of sewage each day. The plant met permit requirements on all the 2,609 tests it was mandated to submit. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), presents the award.

Excellence in GIS Award

The City Utilities Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team was recognized for “One Dot at A Time,” the new App/dashboard aimed at fire hydrant operations, the press release said. The App provides data in real-time to Water Maintenance Technicians and helps prevent service delays after a hydrant has been used. The immediate information ensures that hydrants are ready for use when firefighters need them.  Indiana Geographic Information Council presents the award.

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