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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Detroit water shut-off notices being issued this week

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2015 at 10:28 AM

click to enlarge A coalition of activists protests outside the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s office in downtown Detroit on Friday, June 6, 2014. - RYAN FELTON/MT
  • Ryan Felton/MT
  • A coalition of activists protests outside the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s office in downtown Detroit on Friday, June 6, 2014.

The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD) has begun posting shut-off notices for Detroit residents who may have their water service disconnected because of past-due bills.

An estimated 25,000 residential accounts who are at least 60 days past-due or have more than $150 in overdue payments could expect to see a warning posted on their door handle. They'll have 10 days to pay the bill or sign up for a payment plan, per DWSD policy. Mayor Mike Duggan's administration has said it will roll out a new payment plan this summer after it was revealed nearly all customers on payment plans defaulted again — prompting activists to call for the city to consider a payment plan based on income. 

Such a payment plan would take into consideration a customer's ability to pay, and would charge low-income residents less for water. A Detroit City Council subcommittee recently moved to establish a work group to consider how the city may craft a water affordability program

Perhaps surprisingly, Duggan's chief operating officer, Gary Brown, signaled for the first time the mayor's administration may be open to the possibility of the idea. 

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