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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, November 06, 2018 7:19 am

Verbatim: Combined sewer overflow

When it rains, the 100-year-old combined sewers in older parts of Fort Wayne can overflow, resulting in the discharge of a combination of stormwater (rain or snowmelt) and untreated sewage into CSO impacted waterways within the Great Lakes Basin. Today's forecast indicates a strong possibility that overflows will occur or have started to occur within the past four (4) hours. The overflow may be continuing. The approximate times when the overflow started and stops will be summarized within seven (7) days in a supplemental notice available on the City‚€™s website at https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/cso-notification.html.

Consumption of or direct contact with sewage-contaminated water could make you sick. Signs are posted along affected waterways in Fort Wayne to identify the locations of combined sewer overflow points and areas where contact with water could be hazardous to your health. These locations, and waterbodies potentially impacted, may also be found by clicking the following link: https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/cso-notification.html.

During and after a combined sewer overflow event, individuals should avoid direct contact with water in any of the waterways that are potentially impacted by CSOs as shown on the map found at https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/cso-notification.html.

In addition, City Utilities encourages the public to take the following precautions:

* Avoid direct contact with CSO-impacted streams during and for three days (72 hours) after a rain event and for 72 hours after receiving a CSO notification

* Alter recreational activities to avoid direct contact with CSO-impacted water

* If contact does occur with CSO-impacted water , wash your hands immediately, especially prior to eating

* Use a waterless hand sanitizer at outings that occur near CSO-impacted streams.

Every Wednesday City Utilities will post information at the following location giving details of any CSO discharge events that have happened in the previous seven (7) days:

https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/cso-notification.html.

Clean water is a priority for the City of Fort Wayne. City Utilities is implementing a variety of projects to improve waterways and reduce CSO discharges. The long-term costs to control CSOs in Fort Wayne will likely exceed $250 million.