The city of Fort Wayne issued the following news release today:
When it rains, the 100-year-old combined sewers in Fort Wayne can overflow resulting in the discharge of an untreated combination of stormwater (rain or snowmelt) and sewage into our waterways. Today's forecast indicates a strong possibility that overflows will occur or have occurred in the past 24 hours.
Individuals should avoid direct contact with water in any of the CSO affected waterways described below. Consumption of or direct contact with sewage-contaminated water could make you sick. Signs are posted along our waterways to identify the City's combined sewer outfalls and areas where contact with water could be hazardous to your health.
The affected CSO waterways include:
* St. Joseph River from Coliseum Boulevard to the confluence of the Maumee River.
* St. Marys River from Airport Expressway to the confluence of the Maumee River.
* Maumee River from the confluence of the St. Joseph River and the St. Marys River through the city of New Haven to the Platter Road bridge over the Maumee River in Milan Township.
* Spy Run Creek.
The City of Fort Wayne encourages the public to take the following protective actions when recreating in City streams:
* Avoid direct contact with CSO streams during and for three days (72 hours) after a rain event.
* Alter recreational activities in order to avoid direct water contact.
* If contact does occur with CSO streams, wash your hands immediately, especially prior to eating.
* Use a waterless hand sanitizer at outings that occur near CSO streams.
Clean water is a priority for the City of Fort Wayne. The City is implementing a variety of projects to improve our waterways and reduce and eliminate CSO discharges. The long-term costs to control CSOs in Fort Wayne will likely exceed $250 million over the next 15 to 20 years.