FAQ - Public Works

A new water main is being installed near me in the county, can I get water from the new main?

  • Yes.  Water Works will first verify the water main installation and location. Then, the homeowner must hire a plumber to run plumbing from the home to the new tap.  There is a connection assessment and tap fee that is charged once completed.  Along with the fee, the home owner must sign a waiver of annexation.  These fees may vary.  

    If you have questions or would like to hook into a new main, please contact the Engineering Department of Water Works at 574.235.9279.

How do I obtain special parking in front of my home?

  • If you are interested in obtaining a permit-only parking area along your street, please contact the Division of Engineering at 574.235.9251 or download the Residential Parking Petition.  This application includes a signature sheet for your neighbors.  You must obtain 2/3 of your block's signatures prior to returning your application.  A traffic study of your area will be conducted and a recommendation made to the Board of Public Works.  You will be notified by letter of their decision.  Please note that reserved parking is utilized only when there is a large school or employer in your area that prevents residents from being able to park on their own street.

    See also:

How do I start or stop service for my sprinkler system?

  • Please call 574-235-9236 and select Option 4.

How do I suspend or put my trash pickup on hold?

  • If you wish to suspend your trash pickup for vacation status - up to 6 months maximum - contact the Bureau of Solid Waste at 311.

How does the water get to my house?

  • The South Bend Water Works maintains 32 deep wells and over 545 miles of water main to deliver the best quality and the proper quantity of water to your house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The network of water main used to distribute water to our customers is called a distribution system.  There is a water main in the street that serves water to your neighborhood.  Each residence has a smaller pipe called a service line, that supplies its water.

I need an address for a new home. Who can give me this information?

  • Please call the Permits Manager at 574.235.9254 to have an address assigned within City limits. 

    The County Surveyor assigns addresses outside City limits. The Surveyor can be reached at 574.235.9626.

Is it normal to have white flakes in ice cubes or hot water?

  • Flakes are caused by calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate precipitates.  When hard water is frozen or boiled, the carbonates in the water come out of solution, appearing as whitish flakes and attaching to containers.  This calcium is the same as that in dairy products and is harmless. 

    Soft water does not have any calcium or magnesium carbonate deposits, but the use of soft water is not recommended.

Is lead a problem in our water supply?

  • No! In South Bend, a majority of the customer owned pipes and service lines are made of lead. Fortunately, the harder water in this area creates a calcium carbonate coating in the service lines. This buildup, known as scaling, is essentially a barrier preventing lead from leaching into the water. Also, the South Bend Water Works is in complete compliance with the strict regulations of the EPA's mandated lead and copper rule.

Is the public allowed to open fire hydrants?

  • No, safety is the Cities main concern.  Not only for the residents surrounding the hydrant, but also for the vehicles that are driving by.  Opening the fire hydrant incorrectly could result in damage to yourself and the hydrant. If the hydrant becomes damaged, it may no longer work properly in the event of an emergency.  The fire hydrants should be opened by trained personal only.

Is the utilities deposit refunded when I move out of the City?

  • Yes, your deposit will be credited towards your final bill.