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    City of Fort Wayne

    The City of Fort Wayne has enacted a Stormwater Management Ordinance in to provide for the safe and efficient capture and conveyance of stormwater runoff; mitigate the damaging effects of stormwater runoff; correct stormwater collection and conveyance problems; and fund the activities of stormwater management including design, planning, regulation, education, coordination, construction, operation, maintenance, inspection and enforcement activities, all for the protection of the public  health, welfare and safety. The City of Fort Wayne is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Fort Wayne will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Fort Wayne will calculate and collect stormwater user fees. Stormwater credits are available for properties that maintain stormwater management facilities. The City of Fort Wayne, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Fort Wayne has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.

    Who Manages the Stormwater?

    Fort Wayne's Stormwater Utility has responsibility for operating, maintaining and improving an extensive system of open waterways and enclosed storm sewer lines. This system exists to collect the rainwater that runs off yards, roofs, streets and parking lots and carry it away from neighborhoods to nearby rivers. Without a stormwater collection system, every rainstorm could turn into a flood. Thanks to the stormwater system, when Fort Wayne's rivers flood it is usually caused by runoff from areas upstream, not poor drainage within the City.

    The stormwater system contains more than 600 miles of sewer lines, ditches, open channel 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 facing as we work to maintain and improve the system because they need ongoing inspection and repair.

    The utility must also ensure that Fort Wayne meets state and federal requirements for improving the quality of stormwater runoff. Because most stormwater receives no treatment before it goes into a stream, lake or river, it is important that we keep as many pollutants as before it goes into a stream, lake or river, it is important that we keep as many pollutants as possible out of stormwater runoff. Efforts to address this pollution runoff are outlined in the City's Stormwater Quality Management Plan.

    How is Stormwater Management Paid For?

    The services of the stormwater utility are paid for by a monthly fee added to sewer and water bills. All residential and non-residential customers of Fort Wayne City Utilities pay monthly fees to support the system. Some fees are based upon the amount of impervious land (land with a hard surface that won't absorb rainwater such as driveways, rooftops, and sidewalks). The City's authority for collecting this fee is found in Chapter 53 of City Code and Indiana Code 8-1.5-5. Specific rate information are posted on the rates page

    How Are Stormwater Utility Funds Spent?

    • The Stormwater Utility has a budget of approximately $10 million per year. This money is spent:
    • Repairing, replacing and improving the stormwater drainage system
    • Cleaning drainage inlets and catch basins 
    • Maintaining swales and ditches
    • Ensuring compliance with the EPA's Clean Water Act
    • Administering programs to provide cleaner water to the residents of Fort Wayne
    • Monitoring and controlling pollution levels in stormwater that is returned to the rivers
    • Implementing projects outlined in the Consent Decree

    Excerpt from Stormwater Ordinance


    (A)   Upon the approval of the SWPPP and the issuance of all other required permits and approvals by the DSM the following shall occur during the period of construction activities:

    (1)   The BSM, or its designee, shall have the authority to conduct inspections of the site to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this Chapter, the design standards and technical specifications by the BSM and the terms and conditions of the approved SWPPP.

    (2)   A self-monitoring program shall be implemented by the project site owner to ensure the stormwater pollution prevention plan is working effectively. The program must include the following:

    (a)   A trained individual shall perform an inspection and prepare a written evaluation of the project site:

        1.   By the end of the next business day following each 0.5 inch of rain; and
        2.   At a minimum of one time per week.

    (b)   The evaluation must:

        1.   Address the maintenance of existing stormwater quality measures to ensure they are functioning properly; and
        2.   Identify additional measures necessary to remain in compliance with all applicable laws and ordinances.

    (c)   Written evaluation reports must include:

        1.   The name of the individual performing the evaluation;
        2.   The date of the evaluation;
        3.   Problems identified at the project site; and
        4.   Details of corrective actions recommended and completed.

    (d)   All evaluation reports for the project site must be made available to the inspecting authority within forty-eight (48) hours of a request.

                         (e)   Sites that are issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) for non-compliance with an approved SWPPP will be charged for time spent on each re-inspection until the site is brought into                              compliance in accordance with the table set forth in § 53.63.

    (B)   Upon completion of the construction activities the following shall occur perpetually in accordance with the SWPPP regardless of site usage and land ownership:

    (1)   All constructed stormwater quality facilities shall be maintained by the property owner, or per agreements on file with the DSM, and be in good condition and in accordance with the approved SWPPP operation and maintenance procedures and schedules and the BSM approved technical standards.

    (2)   The approved stormwater quality facilities shall not be subsequently altered, revised or replaced except in accordance with the approved SWPPP or in accordance with DSM approved amendments or revisions to the SWPPP.

    (3)   The BSM, or its designee, shall have the authority to conduct inspections of the site and the installed BMPs to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this Chapter, the design standards and technical specifications approved by the BSM and terms and conditions of the SWPPP.



    Fort Wayne Stormwater Quality Management Plan

    Fort Wayne Code of Ordinances