Request a DWSD Permit

Request a permit for the water and sewer system.

City of Detroit property owners, developers, or their authorized representatives, such as engineers, engineering consultants and contractors, are required to obtain a Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) permit for work described below. To jump to a section, click on the links in the Resources box for detailed directions and to apply.

A project requiring a DWSD Permit may also require a City of Detroit Plumbing Permit from BSEED. Verify and apply here: Plumbing Inspection Team | City of Detroit.

Water/Sewer Service Permit

Water service work must be completed by a licensed Master Plumber registered with the City of Detroit.

DWSD Engineering Review and a Permit is required before carrying out any of the following activities:

  • Connecting to the City’s water main
  • Reconnecting a water line to an existing stop box
  • Replacing an existing water service line
  • Connecting to the City’s sewer
  • Adding to or modifying the City’s water or sewer assets (for example, rerouting a public sewer for a building addition)

Scroll down for information specific to residential water/sewer connections, commercial or development water/sewer work, and urban garden water connections.



Residential Water/Sewer Service Customer Resources:

Additional situations where a DWSD permit is required to install or connect water services include:

  • A property where a water service is currently connected to an abandoned water main. Unoccupied houses and houses scheduled for demolition are not reconnected during new water main construction and will require a new water tap.
  • A property has an active account that is only billing for stormwater.
  • Services for split parcels. If a parcel is split into multiple parcels, the parcel where the service is located becomes the service owner. The new parcels are required to make new taps.

A Water and Sewer Service Permit will not be required to turn on services that have been shut off at the stop box, but not disconnected. For more information about turning on a water service, visit the How Do I Turn On/Transfer/Turn off Water Service page.



Commercial/Developer Water/Sewer Service Customer Resources:

Projects in the City of Detroit Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED) Plan Review Process should apply online for a DWSD permit once receiving DWSD approval in ProjectDox.

Submit the final site plans with a scope of work description indicating which sheets contain your civil site drawings related to water and/or sewer. These plan sheets should clearly highlight the connection points to the DWSD system(s) on the plans/drawings.




Irrigation Service Customer Resources

Irrigation Services for Urban Farms will require a Water Service Permit through the above Water and/or Sewer Service Permit process. Irrigation Services are to be 1" services and follow DWSD specifications.

  • Meters must be set in Wabash Boxes obtained by the customer. DWSD does not provide or sell Wabash Boxes.
  • Either an Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB) or Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) shall be utilized for backflow prevention. The AVB or PVB shall be located 6-inches above the highest piping point.
  • If chemicals are introduced into the irrigation system via a chemical feed pump, the portable piping must be protected by a Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assembly (RPZ) upstream of the chemical feed pump.


Lead Pipe Disclaimer

Buildings with a lead water service line create an increased risk of exposure to lead from the drinking water. The drinking water from DWSD's system is safe; however, lead particles can dissolve into the water passing through a lead water service line. Lead can cause serious health and development problems, especially in developing fetuses and young children. If a property owner has work performed on their private lead water service line, DWSD recommends that the lead lines be replaced in full and not reconnected to the stop box. A permit applicant who reconnects a lead water service line does so at their own risk.

For more information about DWSD’s  Lead Service Line programs and how to determine if the property has a lead service line, click here.

Visit for more information about sources of lead and what you can do to reduce your exposure.

Fire Line Flow Test Request

Detroit property owners who are proposing to tap a DWSD water main for a fire line are required to have DWSD perform a fire line flow test.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected] and include "Fire Flow Test Inquiry" in the subject.


Sewer Service Repair Permit

Detroit property owners who require a sewer service to be repaired are required to obtain a Sewer Service Repair Permit. A Sewer Service Repair Permit is required regardless of if the repair is located on private property or in the road right-of-way.


Demolition Water Clearance and Associated Fire Hydrant Use Permit

Detroit Property owners who want to demolish a building/structure are required to obtain a Demolition Water Clearance for the disconnection of water services. They are also required to obtain a Fire Hydrant Use Permit to use for demolition purposes.

The Demolition Water Clearance and Associated Fire Hydrant Use Permit will be issued concurrently and not until water service(s) have been disconnected.


Fire Hydrant Use Only Permit

If you need to use a fire hydrant for purposes other than demolition, you are required to obtain a Fire Hydrant Use Only Permit.


Equipment Shutdown Request (ESR) and Facility Access Request (FAR)

A customer/designer/developer is required to complete a FAR Request when accessing DWSD facilities for activities such as completing a CCTV video or any other investigation/cleaning. An ESR request is required to be completed for any shutdown activities, such as exercising or turning off valves or any other equipment.


Development and Design Inquiries

Use the below link to request the following information.

  1. DWSD Asset Information for Design: Requesting information on existing DWSD assets within your project limits for completing a development project or new design within the city of Detroit
  2. Ready-to-Serve Letter: Requesting an Availability Letter / Service Letter / Ready-to-Serve Letter for funding. For example, for MSHDA requirements.



Water and sewer drawings provided by DWSD are for information only:

It is the responsibility of the developer/contractor to field verify locations and/or existence of DWSD assets before any plan for water and/or sewer connection is developed. If discrepancies are found, it is the responsibility of the developer/contractor to notify DWSD prior to submittal of any site plans and before any work begins.

DWSD Letter of Acceptance for GLWA Special Discharge Permits

If you are seeking a Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Special Discharge Permit and need a Letter of Acceptance from DWSD, submit your completed GLWA Special Discharge Permit application and contact information through this online form to request a letter of acceptance from DWSD.