All About Sewers 

Who Manages Sewers?

Fort Wayne's Sewer Utility has responsibility for operating, maintaining and improving an extensive system of pipes, lift stations, and treatment processes all aimed at providing safe and reliable removal of sanitary waste from buildings and homes and insuring that streets and parking areas do not flood with stormwater.

The sewer system contains about 1011.75 miles of sewer lines and drains. It drains more than 68 square miles and serves approximately 72,200 residential and commercial customers inside the boundaries of Fort Wayne. Portions of the system, like the brick sewer lines in the central city area, were built in the mid- to late-1800s. These aging brick sewers are one of the problems the City is faces when maintaining and improving the system because these old sewer need ongoing inspection and repair.

The utility must also ensure that Fort Wayne meets state and federal requirements for the discharge of treated sewage (wastewater) from the plant, as well as implementation of action steps outlined in the Long-term Control Plan aimed at reducing combined sewer overflow events. The Sewer Advisory Group, a citizen based group, helps provide guidance to the City on sewer projects, as well as overall management discussions and decisions. The group gives feedback and may suggest policy or operation changes to help City Utilities better meet the needs of its customers.

How is Sewer Management Paid For?

The services of the sewer utility are paid for by a monthly fee billed to customers. More information on sewer rates can be found on the rates page. The City's authority for collecting this fee is found in Chapter 51 of City Code and Indiana Code 8-1.5-5.

How Are Sewer Utility Funds Spent?

The Sewer Utility has a budget of approximately $63.1 million per year. This money is spent on:

  • Repairing, replacing and improving the sewer pipe and lift station system
  • Making upgrades or repairs to the treatment plant
  • Monitoring and controlling pollution levels in treated wastewater that is returned to the rivers
  • Administering programs to provide cleaner water to the residents of Fort Wayne

Back to Fort Wayne's Sewers page here...

Need to Connect a Sewer?

The content below contains information about lateral sewer installation, building connections, and basic information about Fort Wayne City Utilities' policies and regulations for connection of a private sanitary sewer service pipe ("lateral") to a Fort Wayne City Utilities public sanitary sewer.

Fort Wayne City Utilities Development Services - Building Sewer Lateral Installation Information Packet

pdfCover Page and Table of Contents

pdfSection 1: Self-Test and Answer Key

pdfSection 2: Sewer Tap Contractor Contact List

pdfSection 3: City Utilities Design Standards Manual (Chapter 6 References and Drawings)

pdfSection 4: Fort Wayne General Rules and Regulations Wastewater Utility

Additional guidance and regulations concerning sanitary sewer connections can be found in the following places:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact City Utilities Development Services at (260) 427-1161.

Back to Fort Wayne's Sewers page here...

Fort Wayne has 1,011 miles of underground sewers. The creation of sewer systems has been one of the most significant improvements in public health in the last century. Sewers are critical assets to the quality of life and safety for Fort Wayne residents.   There are three kinds of sewer systems in Fort Wayne -- sanitary sewers, which carry only wastewater from toilets, showers, washing machines and other domestic uses as well as wastewater from industries; combined sewers that carry a combination of sanitary sewage and rain water runoff; and storm sewers that carry only rain water runoff and snowmelt.

Who Manages the Sewers?

Fort Wayne's Sewer Utility has responsibility for operating, maintaining and improving an extensive system of pipes, lift stations, and...Read more

Need to Connect a Sewer?

Here's what you need to know...Read more

Combined Sewers

more overflowIn the older parts of some cities, including Fort Wayne, sewers collected both rainwater runoff and sanitary wastewater in the same set of sewer pipes. These are called combined sewers. Sometimes when it rains, combined sewers do not have enough capacity to carry all the rainwater and wastewater or the plant cannot accept all of the combined flow. When this happens, the combined wastewater overflows from the collection system into the nearest body of water (in Fort Wayne's case, into one of the three rivers) creating a combined sewer overflow (CSO) event. To learn more about CSOs, what the City is doing to reduce the frequency of overflows, and how you can help, visit the Combined Sewer's page.

Sewer Projects

City Utilities completes many types of sewer projects each year - from small repairs to large separations and replacements. One of the largest projects ever undertaken by City Utilities is the Tunnel Works Project, aimed at significantly reducing combined sewer overflow events. Catch up on other projects on the Projects page. 

Fort Wayne City Utilities frequently holds special meetings to discuss projects with residents who may be affected. Meetings are held at several stages in each project. Usually meetings are held when project design is about to begin, just before construction begins and when design is complete. Stay informed - Sign up for e-news updates.

Septic Elimination Program 

City Utilities is working to eliminate failing septic systems in the city by making public sanitary sewer systems available. Some homes in the City and hundreds of homes in Allen County are still served by private septic systems. Septic systems have a limited life and eventually fail, allowing human waste to enter groundwater, backyards and neighborhood ditches and streams. Septic systems are linked to high E.coli bacteria counts in many small neighborhood streams and ditches during dry weather when children are most likely to play in them. To address health hazards in neighborhoods, City Utilities is continuing efforts to convert to many neighborhoods on septic systems to public sanitary sewer service. Neighborhoods with higher septic system failure rates are the priority of the Septic Elimination Program (SEP)

City Utilities Facilities 

Water Pollution Control AerialHave you ever wondered where and how City Utilities cleans sewage and what happens after that? City Utilities' Water Pollution Control (sewage treatment) Plant is one of a number of water-related facilities operated by City Utilities. The Water Pollution Control Plant is the critical facility that removes harmful bacteria and other pollutants from sewer water before it is released to the river. In fact, water treated and released from the plant is actually cleaner than the water in the Maumee River.