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
In 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.
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
Have 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.