FORT WAYNE -- A pair of consulting firms will help the city ensure its efforts to keep sewage out of area rivers will be sufficient in a changing environment, officials said.
The Board of Public Works approved two contracts Wednesday with companies that will use models to test whether the improvements being made to the sewers are sufficient.
Brown & Caldwell was hired for up to $76,900 to study the projects to ensure they could handle a typical five-year rainfall – previous models were based on a single year. In addition, the firm will study whether the sewer projects are adequate to handle any changes brought on by climate change.
CDM Smith was hired for up to $61,875 to ensure the sewer projects are built to accommodate higher river levels. According to the city, the rivers have reached flood stage 17 times in the last few years.
The city is in the middle of an 18-year, $240 million program to increase the capacity of its sewage system to reduce the amount of raw sewage that flows into area rivers. When it rains, that precipitation overflows the city’s current sewer system, sending the excess mix of rain and sewage into rivers to keep the sewage plant from flooding. The firms hired this week will test to ensure that money is spent on appropriately sized projects.