Water Assistance Programs

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and community partners offer Water Assistance Programs for eligible households, including Detroit's first water affordability plan -- the Lifeline Plan. 

Lifeline Plan Overview & How to Enroll
Frequently Asked Questions - Lifeline Plan
Policy - Lifeline Plan
Share Your Feedback on the Lifeline Pilot Plan
Lifeline Plan Enrollment Fairs:
  • District 6 - August 23 at 6 - 8 p.m., First Latin Baptist Church, 2004 Scotten Street
  • District 7 - August 30 at 3 - 7 p.m., Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO), 12048 Grand River Avenue
  • Citywide North - September 1 at 3 - 7 p.m., Greater Grace Temple, 23500 West Seven Mile Road
  • Citywide South - September 13 at 3 - 7 p.m., Little Rock Historic Baptist Church, 9000 Woodward Avenue

Tap Into the DWSD Lifeline Plan

Detroit's first-ever income-based water affordability plan
The new DWSD Lifeline Plan is developed based on research and feedback from water affordability experts and advocates. Water advocates have long said water should be 1.8% of the average household income. The Lifeline Plan offers qualifying customers a fixed monthly rate that meets the standard recommended by water affordability experts and erases past debt – for good!

We the People of Detroit asked for a 30-45-day public comment period and DWSD is providing up to 60 days of community engagement to solicit feedback for the Board of Water Commissioners consider amendments later this year. DWSD, Wayne Metro and coalition members will host fairs this summer to enroll qualifying households and seek input on the Lifeline Plan that can be taken to the Board of Water Commissioners for future amendments. You can also submit your comment online here.

The average Detroit household (three people) uses between 2,300 and 3,000 gallons of water per month. The DWSD Lifeline Plan provides income-eligible enrolled Detroiters up to 4,500 gallons of water every month at a fixed rate based on their household income. Any water used above 4,500 gallons in a month will result in a total bill higher than the fixed rate based on the amount of additional water used.
The DWSD Lifeline Plan’s three tiers:
  • 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; or
  • If you are a moderate-income household (non-SNAP/FAP) – You pay $56 a month for your total DWSD bill.


Income-eligible Detroit households include:

  • The 2,500 households currently enrolled in WRAP (Water Residential Assistance Program) will be auto-enrolled in the new plan beginning today;
  • The 19,000-plus households who were previously in WRAP can immediately qualify and will be contacted by Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency;
  • Low income-eligible households; and
  • Households receiving SNAP/FAP benefits.

Qualifying residents can enroll beginning July 1 by calling Wayne Metro to enroll now at 313-386-9727 or apply at www.waynemetro.org.

See water affordability study and program policy documents further below under the "Documents" heading. 

DWSD 10/30/50 Payment Plan

The 10/30/50 Plan was developed by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) for Detroit residents and businesses that experience difficulty in paying past due water and sewerage bills. There are no income restrictions to qualify. The plan affirms DWSD’s commitment to assist our customers with a payment plan that provides solutions to avoid service interruption.

Eligibility requirements to enroll:

  • The account must be in the resident’s or business’s name;
  • Customer makes a down payment of 10%, 30% or 50% of the past due balance:
    • Percentage is based on the number of payment plans the customer entered in the last 18 months; first time is 10%, second time 30%, third time or more 50%;
  • The balance of the past due amount is equally spread over a 6-24 month period which the customer pays in addition to the normal monthly bill (months are determined by the balance owed); and
  • All payments must be made in full and on time to stay in the plan.

You may apply for the DWSD 10/30/50 Plan online through the Customer Service Portal or call DWSD at 313-267-8000. If you are not registered on the Customer Service Portal, watch this video to learn how to register. If your name is not on your account, please call 313-267-8000.

State and Federal Water Assistance Programs

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, state and federal agencies have made available an unprecedented amount of funding to assist low-income households with utility bills. Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency will help you apply to all the qualifying programs by calling 313-386-9727 or use their universal application at waynemetro.org.

MDHHS State Emergency Relief Program

Up to $175 per year in assistance is available to qualifying low-income households. Call 2-1-1 or go to www.michigan.gov/mdhhs

COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)*

CERA was launched with federal funds during the COVID-19 Pandemic to assist renters and landlords. For utility payments you may be eligible for $1,500 - $2,500 per tenant household based on the number of people. The program is available for a limited time. Apply now by using the Wayne Metro universal application at waynemetro.org.

Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF)*

Up to $25,000 to homeowners for mortgage, land contract, past due taxes, and utility bills (water assistance is a portion of the $25,000). The program is available for a limited time. Apply now by using the Wayne Metro universal application at waynemetro.org.

*These programs are only available for a limited time

Wayne County Veterans Financial Hardship Services

Veterans may obtain financial assistance through the Wayne County Financial Hardship Services Program using Wayne County Soldiers & Sailors Relief and Michigan Veteran Trust Funds. Assistance may be granted to honorably discharged indigent wartime veterans, their spouses, and dependent children to meet their immediate needs. Visit the Wayne County Veterans page for further detail or call 313-224-5045.

Other Assistance Partners