News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Annual Reminder: Combined Sewer Overflow Email Notifications
(March 31, 2015) – City Utilities reminds interested residents in Fort Wayne 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 (CSOs) occur or are likely to occur.
Fort Wayne’s combined sewer system carries sanitary sewage to the sewage treatment plant in dry weather. When it rains, these same sewers also collect stormwater runoff. Many times when it is raining the combined sewer pipes get too full. When this happens, some of the excess flow is discharged to the rivers. Fort Wayne is one of 105 communities in Indiana where this occurs.
Individuals interested in receiving a free email notification of combined sewer overflows can sign up at www.cityoffortwayne.org/overflow.
Wet-weather overflows increase the amount of bacteria in our rivers. Therefore, it is best to avoid direct contact with river water during rainy weather or within the first 72 hours after a rain event. The public notification system is intended to help resident identify those periods when the water may not be safe the human contact.
Combined sewer overflows 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.
In 2008, the city reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and IDEM on a plan to reduce combined sewer overflows by 90% by 2025. City Utilities continues to invest in significant improvements to protect our rivers. These investments are adding capacity to greatly reduce overflows from our combined sewer system.