New plan to offer low-income Detroiters 3 affordable water bill options for $18, $43, or $56

Residents can enroll starting July 1

The DWSD Lifeline Plan was approved on Tuesday by Detroit’s Board of Water Commissioners, allowing Detroiters access to affordable water.

A fixed-rate plan will offer water bills as low as $18 a month but no more than $56 per month -- which could help ease the pain of water bills for residents. According to a release, Detroit city officials hope this plan will help the thousands who face water insecurity.

“The new Lifeline Plan is a major step toward that goal, and those enrolled will continue to participate in a moratorium. We are calling on all elected officials and community leaders to join us to ensure this new program is funded long-term by the state and federal dollars,” said Mayor Mike Duggan in a press release.

The fixed rates will cover up to 4,500 gallons a month. Officials state that the average Detroit household (three people) uses between 2,300 to 3,000 gallons of water per month and has a monthly bill of about $81.62. Homes that use over 4,500 gallons will be charged for the additional water usage.

“For nearly 10 years, we have debated with water advocates whether Detroit could implement a true, income-based water affordability plan,” said DWSD Director Gary Brown. “There were many differences of opinion on the subject, and in most cases, we agreed on the need but not the path.”

Below are the three fixed rates that are based on income:

  • If you receive SNAP/FAP benefits – You pay $18 a month for water, sewer, and drainage services
  • If you are a low-income household (non-SNAP/FAP) – You pay $43 a month for your total DWSD bill
  • If you are a moderate-income household (non-SNAP/FAP) – You pay $56 a month for your total DWSD bill

Currently, residents enrolled in WRAP will be auto-enrolled into the plan and will start having a fixed rate for their water bills. The households who were previously in WRAP can quality for a fixed rate and, according to officials, will be contacted by Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.

If your household receives SNAP/FAP benefits or is considered low income can qualify to enroll.

Enrollment begins July 1, and residents participating in the program will be able to see a change to their water bills starting in August. Detroit residents interested can enroll through or call Wayne Metro at 313-386-9727.

Below is a statement from the People’s water board about the approved plan:

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.