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South Bend History: For over 150 years, South Bend has had a culture of diversity and innovation. From the Potawatomi and European furs traders, to industrial powerhouses such as Studebaker, Oliver, and Bendix—South Bend is ever-changing. Today, South Bend is experiencing an urban renaissance. It’s a midsize city attracting attention from the tech world typically reserved for larger destinations, with a rich landscape and robust sports, culture, and entertainment scene.

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Top Resident FAQs

I am building a fence. How high can it be, and how close can it be to my neighbor's property?

  • Before installing a fence, please contact the St. Joseph County/City of South Bend Building Department to obtain a permit.

    Contact the Building Department @ 574-235-9554 for construction permits or additional information.

    Contact the Department of Code Enforcement @ 574.235.9486 or submit a concern online if you have questions or concerns regarding the condition of an existing fence.

Where do I obtain a Permit for Excavation, Curb and Sidewalk work or to place a dumpster in the right-of-way?

  • Please call the Division of Engineering's Permits Manager for these permits at 574.235.9254.

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.

Would it be safer if I bought a water filter or bottled water for my home?

  • A home filter or bottled water may not be necessary since the South Bend Water Works has already filtered and treated the water.  As a municipal drinking water supplier, we are heavily regulated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Environmental Protection Agency.  We are in complete compliance with the strict standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

I want to do some digging in my yard. Who do I call to locate buried cables?

  • Your responsibility as a homeowner is to call 2 days before you plan to dig anywhere on your property. This will give the utility companies time to locate and mark all of the underground lines and pipes, to prevent damage to you and your property. There is no charge or fee for this service. Call Indiana811 by dialing 811 or visit the Indiana811 web site for additional information.