Prepare for Heavy Precipitation

Heavy rainfall or melting of heavy snow can cause flooding, sewer backups, and drainage issues on individual properties or in neighborhoods. These events highlight the importance of taking steps ahead of time to be prepared for extremely wet weather.

City Utilities and property owners share the responsibility to prepare for wet weather events and the damage they may cause.

Prepare When Heavy Precipitation is Expected:

  • Check and clean private drains on your property. These include driveway culverts, yard drains, gutters and downspouts.
  • Be sure to check the drains again after the rain starts to ensure they are working properly. While you may have cleared a grate or drain before a storm event, the rain or snowmelt may wash debris back over the drain which may cause flooding.
  • Be aware of your sewer line. The building sewer between your house and the public sewer line is your responsibility. If you have trees in your yard, you may need to have your building sewer de-rooted to avoid sewer backups.
  • Install a back-flow prevention device on your building sewer. This is a device you control, so even if the public sewer system is full, you can keep the sewage from coming into your home.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working. If you have a sump pump that runs frequently even when it’s not raining, consider an alternate power source in case the electricity goes out.
  • Never dump anything down a storm drain. Don’t use it to dispose of leaves, grass clippings, or other yard waste.
  • Clear storm drains around your property. If you see leaves, grass clippings, plastic bottles, or other trash and debris in front of a storm drain, please clear the drain and bag the debris before the next rainfall. Removing the debris may help to minimize street flooding.
  • Call 311 if you see sinkholes. If you see sinkholes or if you know that a particular storm inlet never takes in water, call 311 to report the problem.
  • If you do experience flooding or a sewer backup, click here for information about how to clean-up following such an event.

Improving Fort Wayne’s Sewer & Drainage Systems

Aging, damaged, and undersized sanitary, combined, and storm sewers may cause a variety of flooding and backup issues. City Utilities is investing millions of dollars to improve these systems. However, even when sewer and drainage systems are performing at their best, some wet weather events will be too big for the public sewer system to handle.

What City Utilities is doing:

  • Investing in infrastructure
  • Rehabilitating sewers
  • Building new infrastructure to reduce the discharge of combined sanitary sewage and stormwater to the rivers when it rains
  • Regularly cleaning storm sewer inlets
  • Preventive sewer maintenance such as removing grease and roots that could cause blockages