In attempt to avoid large crowds and summer heat, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is now offering a new phone payment option for residents who wish make payment arrangements or pay water bills.

With traffic at DWSD customer care centers still brisk following the expiration of the moratorium on residential water shut-offs, the department is encouraging residents who wish to begin payment plans to do so over the phone. The addition of the phone payment option is due in part to the large number of city residents who have expressed interest in getting onto payment plans and avoid water shut-off.

The phone payment option also accepts major credit cards and the transactions are conducted with a DWSD customer care staff person, as opposed to with an automated system.

Though shut-offs are still in effect today, the number of them scheduled has decreased by more than 50 percent because of payments and payment plans that were made in recent days.

The 10/30/50 Plan, which only requires as little as 10 percent of the overdue balance as a down payment, can be entered via phone by calling (313) 267-8000 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Customers may also make payments online at www.dwsd.org or through the Detroit Delivers mobile app, which links to the water department payment website.

However, DWSD recommends that if customers wish to make payment arrangements in person, they should do so at the Eastside location (13303 E. McNichols Avenue, 1-1/2 blocks west of Gratiot) because of a larger space that can accommodate more people and reduce the chance of having to wait outside in the heat.

The two other locations are: Downtown (735 Randolph Street, at Bates); and Westside (15600 Grand River Avenue, one block west of Greenfield Road). All customer care locations are open between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.