The Lifeline Plan



The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) developed a new income-based water affordability plan – The Lifeline Plan. Your bill may be as low as $18 per month under the new program and your water debt will be erased as soon as you enroll!

DWSD has developed this water affordability program to keep everyone’s rates low. This is also why water conservation is built into the program. Once you’re enrolled in the DWSD Lifeline Plan and water debt is erased, please pay your income-based monthly bill in order to continue this program.

For additional information visit:
DWSD Lifeline Plan Outreach and Resources.

What’s required for eligibility and enrollment?

  • Your residential DWSD water bill must be in your name.
  • Apply through Wayne Metro at or call 313-386-9727.
  • Household member who is responsible for the water account needs a photo ID, Social Security Number and proof of household income for the last 30 days to determine payment tier. 

What is the DWSD Lifeline Plan?

Developed in partnership with community advocates and water affordability experts, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) Lifeline Plan is a new income-based water affordability plan. It offers qualifying customers a low, fixed monthly bill and erases past debt.

What are the benefits of the DWSD Lifeline Plan?

You start fresh with a zero balance -- your DWSD past due amount is erased upon enrollment.

Then, you receive the following benefits when you pay your monthly Lifeline Plan bill:

  • Affordable fixed bill based on household income and number of household members;
  • Get up to 1,125 gallons of indoor water usage per household member per month
  • Shutoff protection while on the plan and as long as you pay your monthly bill; and
  • If qualified, you get a free water audit and minor plumbing repairs (as funding allows) to fix leaks and inefficient equipment which saves you money.



Lifeline Tier 1


Lifeline Tier 2


Lifeline Tier 3


*Federal poverty level




The Lifeline Plan Dashboard (as of September 26, 2023)

72,924+ Detroiters benefiting from the Lifeline Plan  


24,308* households
Enrolled in Lifeline
24,456 eligible households
Applied for Lifeline
148 applications
Pending Approval
20,604** households
Enrolled in Tier 1 ($18 bill)
1,052** households
Enrolled in Tier 2 ($43 bill)
2,103** households
Enrolled in Tier 3 ($56 bill)
$32.4 Million
Total Funding Utilized
$26.2 Million
Used to Erase Bill Debt
$6.2 Million
Monthly Gap Payments


*If recently determined eligible, the household may have not received their first official DWSD Lifeline Plan bill based on billing cycle.

**Eligible for Lifeline Plan Tier may not include those who have not established an account with DWSD in their name; have since moved to another city; or now have an inactive account.