News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Annual Water Quality Report Coming Soon to Your Mailbox
Customers of Fort Wayne’s water utility should watch their mailboxes next week for the City’s 2011 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. The report shows that again in 2010 the water delivered to customers of Fort Wayne City Utilities met or was better than state and federal standards.
“Our Water Utility customers rely on City Utilities to provide them with safe, great-tasting drinking water every time they turn on the tap,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “They expect it, we deliver. Testing the water regularly is one of the ways we make sure the water is safe. We want our customers to know what those tests show – that’s the purpose of the report.”
Fort Wayne City Utilities takes water from the St. Joseph River and treats it at the Three Rivers Filtration Plant using several processes including filtration and disinfection. At maximum capacity, the Plant can produce 72 million gallons of treated water per day. In 2010, a total of just over 11 billion gallons of water – or an average of about 30.1 million gallons per day – was produced and delivered to City Utilities customers. Nearly 79,000 homes and businesses receive water from City Utilities.
“Having an abundant supply of safe water is something we often take for granted,” said Mayor Henry. “As Mayor I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to keep our water system running all day every day. It takes investment in our infrastructure and dedicated employees.”
Employees at the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant test water for more than 120 substances at all stages in the water treatment process. The annual water quality report shows test results for a number of substances that are regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Water quality testing also helps employees make adjustments to the treatment process to ensure the water that leaves the Plant is safe and great-tasting. In 2010, Fort Wayne’s drinking water was ranked best in the state of Indiana.
Although Fort Wayne’s water treatment process is highly effective, concern about a pathogen called Cryptosporidium has caused the US EPA to require changes in how the City treats water. In 1993, Cryptosporidium in the drinking water in Milwaukee sickened hundreds of thousands of residents there. As a result of new federal requirements to address Crypto, Fort Wayne City Utilities will be installing a new water disinfection process that will use ultraviolet light to deactivate this pathogen. This will take Fort Wayne’s system from 99% effective against Crypto to 99.9% effectiveness at a cost of approximately $22 million. The project is being financed without requiring an increase in City Utilities water rates and must be completed by April 2014.
“As Mayor, I’m committed to having great water while keeping costs as low as possible” said Mayor Henry. “Our water rates are among the lowest in the 12-county region and that’s key to helping our economy grow. Businesses look for communities with a reliable water supply and rates that are affordable when they make decisions about where they will locate or expand. Wise investing in our water system is absolutely essential to make Fort Wayne a place where good jobs can grow and families can thrive.”
The annual water quality report is prepared and distributed as required by state and federal regulators. In addition to being mailed to every City Utilities water customer, the water quality report may be viewed on the City’s website at. Anyone desiring additional copies may call the 311 – One Call to City Hall service center.