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 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
- Operating the Water Pollution Control Plant
- Monitoring and controlling pollution levels in treated wastewater that is returned to the rivers
- Ensuring compliance with the EPA's Clean Water Act
- Administering programs to provide cleaner water to the residents of Fort Wayne
- Implementing projects outlined in the Consent Decree
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
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.