Aqua Customers In Aboite To Be Disconnected From Fort Wayne Water

By Corinne Rose

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 6:19 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Aqua Indiana customers in Aboite Township remember like it was yesterday... water pressure so low, it was just a trickle... broken water mains... and pleas from the company to reduce their water usage.

A ruling Wednesday from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission means the beleaguered Aqua Indiana may now disconnect from Fort Wayne City Utilities.

But the private water company is not off the state's hook yet.

In the middle of June, during the height of this summer's drought, the city of Fort Wayne hooked up to Aqua Indiana's water line to provide water to some of Aqua's southwest customers because the private utility could not supply them with adequate water pressure.

State Senate President Pro Tem David Long, also an Aqua customer in Aboite Township and fed up with Aqua's ongoing water pressure issues, asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to investigate.

"Clearly their water pressure was lacking dramatically this summer. They couldn't keep up with the needs of the community, and it had nothing to do with people watering their lawns. So they had a water pressure problem," Long said.

The I.U.R.C. has just issued the results of an independent investigation that said while Aqua may disconnect from city water, for now, because the drought has ended and customer demand has dropped, a second phase of the audit will focus on Aqua's master plan and ability to serve its customers long-term. specifically, whether there are systemic, equipment or supply issues driving the water shortfall.

"Drilling one well is not going to cure what ails this system. They need more pressure. They probably need to build another water tower. But, you know, getting them to invest properly in their system is obviously a problem," Long said.

The independent auditor will issue its phase two report about Aqua's long-term capacity and ability to serve its Aboite Township customers next month.

Aqua Indiana issued a statement saying it "is confident that its wells and distribution system can meet the demands for water supply and maintain water pressure for all of its customers in Aboite Township."

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