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Detroit announces plan to restore water to residents during coronavirus outbreak

No confirmed cases in Michigan, move is preventative

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(Lars Baron/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Detroit announced a new plan to restore water to residents during the coronavirus outbreak.

State and City officials announced the “Coronavirus Water Restart Plan,” which will restore water service and prevent new service interruptions at no initial cost to customers.

You can watch the full press conference in the video below.

The plan applies to residents who are currently living without water service and residents who have received a door hanger of a pending water service interruption for nonpayment.

Under the plan, for the first 30 days, the State of Michigan will cover customers’ costs to reconnect water service for Detroiters who are currently experiencing or at risk of experiencing a water service interruption due to non-payment.

After 30 days, Detroiters who are at risk of a water service interruption will be able to restore or keep their water service by paying $25 per month.

Officials say the move is preventative. There are currently zero confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan.

“While there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Michigan, one of the best ways to combat the spread of this disease is by washing your hands thoroughly,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why the state is stepping up to cover the cost of water restoration for the first 30 days, because it’s the right thing to do to keep families safe and protect public health.”

“Every organization and agency must work together to ensure that we are prepared for COVID-19 cases in our communities,” said Lt Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “This partnership will help some of the most vulnerable to this disease simply because they have fewer financial resources.”

“We deeply appreciate Gov. Whitmer’s support and leadership on this issue,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “As long as COVID-19 remains a health concern, no Detroit resident should have concerns about whether their water service will be interrupted.”

How it works/How to apply: Under the $25 Plan, it is a three-step process for eligible customers to keep their water flowing:

  • Residents without water, or who have received a door hanger indicating that they are at risk of service interruption, will only need to call Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency at 313-386-9727 to make an appointment.
  • Once an appointment is made, DWSD will begin the process of restoring service or cancelling a pending service interruption. Customers do not have to pay anything at this time.
  • After the first month, customers will be required to pay the $25 per month until the COVID-19 outbreak passes.

Residents can begin calling Wayne Metro on Wednesday, March 11. The Wayne Metro call center is open Monday through Friday 9 AM to 7 PM and Saturday 9 AM to Noon. To prepare for the new program, staff will be trained on Monday and Tuesday of this week and information will be placed on the City’s website. If the Coronavirus situation health risk increases in the state of Michigan, Brown said DWSD will re-evaluate its options.

“We know good hand hygiene is among the protections advised to keep us safe from viral illnesses including COVID-19,” says Detroit Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair. “The WRAP program not only helps those seeking water assistance, it supports us all in the fight toward preventing the spread of this virus in our community.”


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