Fort Wayne City Utilities most important commitment is to the health and safety of our customers.
 
When drinking water leaves the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant, it meets or is better than all state and federal standards require -- this includes the standard for lead.  Lead can enter drinking water as a result of the corrosion of lead in the service lines between the public water main and a home or business.  Lead may also enter drinking water from plumbing inside a building or from lead solder used in plumbing fixtures.

Service Line Replacement as Part of Water Main Projects

When City Utilities engineers are designing water main replacement projects, they determine if the service lines between the water main and the homes or businesses along the main are likely to be made of lead pipe.  Lead service lines are most likely in homes that were built and connected to public water mains before 1950.  During the water main replacement projects in areas with lead service lines, City Utilities will replace the utility-owned portion of the service line as part of the water main replacement project.
 
City Utilities will only replace the portion of the service line that is owned by the utility.  That is the section between the public water main and the curb stop or the location where of the valve that turns water going to a building on or off.  City Utilities recommends that when the utility-owned portion of the water service is replaced that the property owner should also replace the private portion of the water service line.  However, we understand that this is not always possible.

Recommended Flushing After Partial Lead Service Replacement

After a portion of a lead water service is replaced, if the remaining portion of the line is lead it is likely that the level of lead in household tap water may increase for a period of time.  This increase in lead levels is the result of pipes being disturbed during the partial replacement.  Lead may also continue to be released into the water from lead or galvanized pipes inside a building, or it may come from other sources of lead int he plumbing such as lead solder, if these have not been removed or replaced as part of the service line replacement.
Following replacement of the publicly-owned portion of a lead water line, City Utilities recommends that property owners flush their water system for a period of time using the following procedure:
  1. Remove faucet aerators from all water taps in the home
  2. Beginning at the faucet nearest to the water meter, turn the cold water faucet on fully.  Let the water run for 5 minutes and shut off the water before moving to the next faucet.
  3. Repeat this procedure at the remaining faucets throughout the home or business from the lowest level to the last faucet on the top floor.  It is important to run water in bathtubs and showers as well as sinks.
  4. Until flushing is complete, customers should not consume tap water, open hot water faucets or use ice-maker or filtered water dispensers.
  5. Remove and clean faucet aerators and reinstall them on the faucet.
Lead Water Service Replacement Information from Fort Wayne City Utilities

Every customer deserves safe, great tasting drinking water and expects it to be there every time they turn on the tap. City Utilities' goal is to meet your expectations about water quality and reliability every day while providing good value.

Who Manages Drinking Water?

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Fort Wayne's Water Utility has responsibility for operating, maintaining and improving an extensive system of pipes, hydrants, and treatment processes all aimed at providing safe and reliable drinking water to and from buildings and homes, while also insuring that water is available during emergency situations like fires or droughts.
The water distribution system consists of water main pipes leaving the filtration plant. This includes over 890 miles of water main, 6,000 valves, 8,000 fire hydrants, the services from the main to the curb, and the service valves that control individual properties. Anything beyond this service valve, usually located in the right of way or close to the property line (with the exception of the water meter itself and its connection) is the responsibility of the owner. 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 faces when maintaining and improving the system because these old sewers need ongoing inspection and repair.

How is Drinking Water Treatment and Management Paid For?

The services of the drinking water utility are paid for by a monthly fee billed to water utility customers. More information on drinking water rates can be found on the rates page

How Are Drinking Water Utility Funds Spent?

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The water utility has an annual budget of approximately $35 million per year. This money is spent on:

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Water Maintenance and Service

Water Maintenance Service is responsible for maintenance of the drinking water distribution system.

The water distribution system consists of water main pipes leaving the filtration pant. This includes over 890 miles of water main, 6,000 valves and 8,000 fire hydrants, the services from the main to the curb and the service valves that control individual properties. Anything beyond this service valve, usually located in the right of way or close to the property line (with the exception of the water meter itself and its connection) is the responsibility of the owner.

Possible Causes of Rusty Water in City water main

  • Water main breaks
  • Fire fighting
  • Construction

Possible Causes of Rusty Water in customer premises

  • Bad plumbing (galvanized)
  • Bad water heater

Troubleshooting Rusty Water

Try running your water for 20 minutes. If it is still rusty, check with some of your neighbors to see if theirs is rusty also. If not, it could be your plumbing. Check to see if you have galvanized plumbing, this could be your problem.

If your water has not cleared up after running tap water for 20 minutes, or if your neighbors' water is rusty call 311.

Low Pressure

Possible Causes For Low Pressure in customer premises
  • Main valve at water meter off or partially off
  • Screens on faucets are plugged
  • Plumbing

Possible Causes for Low Pressure in City main

  • Major leaks
  • Major fire fighting
  • Maintenance
  • Construction

Troubleshooting Low Pressure

If the low pressure is at ALL the faucets throughout the house, check your main valve. This will be located next to your water meter, usually where your water service comes into the house. This valve is turned counter clockwise open.

If all your faucets have little or no pressure and your main valve is on, call 427-1247

If you only have pressure on a certain faucet there may be a separate valve under the sink that has been partially closed, or your screen on the end of your faucet may need to be cleaned or replaced. Sometimes the faucet itself may need repaired or replaced.

Leaks

  • The City maintains the water line up to and including the service valve at the street.
  • This valve is usually located in the right of way, or within the area between the sidewalk and curb (parkstrip).
  • Any leak beyond this valve (commonly known as a curb stop) is up to the property owner to maintain.
  • If you think you have a leak, but are not certain on which side of the curb stop it is, call 311.
  • Leaking plumbing inside you home may result in an unusually high utility bill.  Use the High Utility Bill Investigation Checklist to track the reason for a high bill.
  • If you see water running in the street or a fire hydrant that has been hit, call 311.