The last drinking water boil order was issued by City Utilities in October 1999. A broken water main in the downtown area caused low water pressure, so a boil order was issued as a precaution in case any contaminants had entered the water distribution system.
Precautionary Boil Water Advisory
Issued when the water system experiences a loss in positive water pressure (below 20 psi), typically due to a serious main break or low storage tank levels. A loss of positive water pressure indicates the existence of conditions that could allow contamination to enter the distribution system. This is the most common type of advisory, which is issued as a precaution until water samples are collected and analyzed to confirm that water quality has not been affected.
Mandatory Boil Water Order
Issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. Customers are instructed to boil the water to kill bacteria and other organisms in the water, until the issue is resolved and the notice can be lifted. Contamination from organisms, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, can cause symptoms, including nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches.
Based on testing done in the last 48 hours.
Customers begin to notice a taste and/or odor in the water that may be described as organic, swampy, grassy, sweet, medicinal, fishy or rancid.
Fort Wayne City Utilities is committed to providing safe, great tasting drinking water to our customers every time they turn on the tap. Changes in water taste and odor are common, and typically do not indicate that the water is unsafe. If you’re wondering why your water tastes the way it does today, you’ve come to the right place.
Each of Fort Wayne’s rivers receives water from its own unique watershed. A watershed is an area of land from which rain water or snow melt drains to the same location, such as a stream at the bottom of a hillside. Whatever the water runoff picks up as it flows over land and across hard surfaces in the watershed is carried to the rivers.
The St. Joseph River is the source of Fort Wayne's drinking water, so the quality of our water and the amount of treatment required to keep it safe is directly affected by the St. Joe River’s quality. In addition to treating water and delivering it to your tap, Fort Wayne's water utility is involved in watershed protection efforts to ensure that the water arriving at the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant is the best it can be. Learn more about the activities of the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative by visiting www.sjrwi.org.
Despite the best efforts to protect river water quality, a river is a natural system that is influenced by many factors. Heavy rains or melting snow in the spring can wash winter road salt, trash, organic debris and soil particles into the river. These may cause Fort Wayne’s drinking water to have a musty, swampy or earthy taste. When river water contains a large amount of soil particles and is a chocolate milk color, a larger dose of chlorine dioxide is required in the treatment process to keep Fort Wayne’s drinking water safe. When chlorine dioxide reacts with soil particles and organic matter it can cause a chemical or bleachy odor or taste.
During very hot summer months various species of algae may grow in the St. Joe River. High concentrations of fertilizer in the river contribute to algae blooms. Typically these are nuisance bacteria and are not the dangerous blue-green algae that cause illnesses. When the algae die, they may cause water to have a sweet, grassy or even a fishy odor.
Organic chemicals and industrial by-products may also cause tastes and odors, as can failing septic systems, dissolved gases and naturally occurring minerals and metals.
While weather and river conditions may cause drinking water to have a taste or odor that affects most City Utilities customers, there may also be conditions within individual homes or buildings that impact water quality. New plumbing materials, the build-up of sediments in a hot water heater, even an odor from the drain in the kitchen sink may cause you to notice a taste or odor in water coming from your tap.
After water is treated at the Three Rivers Filtration Plant, it is stored in an underground reservoir until it is pumped into pipes that carry it out to serve over 250,000 customers in the Fort Wayne area.
When treatment adjustments are made at the Plant, it may take a few days for the newly treated water to reach your tap. This map is an estimate of how long treated water may take to reach your area.
2016 Platinum Award for Utility Excellence
Of the more than 150,000 water providers in the country, Fort Wayne is one of only ten, and the only water provider in Indiana, selected for the prestigious honor of receiving the 2016 Platinum Award for Utility Excellence. The award recognizes not just the top quality water that City Utilities provides to its customers but also the invaluable contribution of the water utility to public health, safety and economic development in the region.