Brightmoor Stormwater Improvement Project

This is a proposed project that DWSD is presenting to the community for feedback and approval.


Project Overview

The City of Detroit is collaborating with the community on projects to make our infrastructure more climate resilient. Stormwater and sewer systems are unified into a single combined system, which was built decades ago and sized to handle rain and snow events of the past, not the intense rain and snowmelt volume we see today. During heavy rain and snowmelt events, the system’s capacity may be exceeded causing basement backups and street flooding. Additionally, the excess stormwater and untreated sewerage overflows to the Rouge River through designated outfalls. This overflow point is called a Combined Sewer Overflow, or CSO. When CSOs are utilized, untreated stormwater and sewage flow into the Rouge River and have a negative impact on the environment. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is working with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to eliminate CSOs in accordance to state law.

To improve climate resiliency by providing more capacity in the sewer system, DWSD utilizes green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) as a tool to capture rainfall and snowmelt and divert it to the Rouge River. GSI projects reduce the amount of stormwater in the combined sewer system which, in return, reduces basement backups, street flooding and CSOs, improving water quality in the Rouge River. DWSD has several GSI projects on the west side of Detroit, adjacent to the Upper Rouge River including the $40M Far West Stormwater Improvement Project.

DWSD is proposing the Brightmoor Stormwater Improvement Project which would capture stormwater in Brightmoor and surrounding neighborhoods and filter it through a pond-like GSI project before discharging the stormwater directly into the Rouge River. Sanitary and other combined sewage would from Brightmoor and the other neighborhoods would still flow to the wastewater treatment plant and wet weather facilities.

Proposed Project Footprint

The proposed project area is between Greydale and Bentler from W Outer Drive to Lyndon. The proposed area includes privately-owned properties. DWSD is meeting with property owners within the proposed project area to offer acquisition packages. If DWSD receives voluntary approval from the property owners, the project will be presented for approval. Community input meetings on design will be held prior to construction. Please refer to the map below for the detailed project boundaries.

Proposed Brightmoor Stormwater Improvement Project Boundaries


Proposed Project Goals:

  1. Reduce sewage overflows to the Rouge River
  2. Improve water quality of the Rouge River
  3. Reduce basement backups
  4. Reduce street flooding


Proposed Project Timeline, if Project Approved by Property Owners:

  • 2018-2022:                  Brightmoor area studies and analysis
  • 2023:                           Design and analysis
  • 2024:                           Property owner and community feedback meetings
  • 2024-2025:                  Funding acquired and community input for design
  • 2026-2031:                  Construction

Community Engagement & Meetings

DWSD introduced the project to property owners within the project footprint in Fall 2023

  • December 5, 2023:     Project introduction meeting for homeowner occupants
  • December 14, 2023:   Follow-up homeowner occupant meeting
  • January 11, 2024:        Project introduction meeting for all property owners
  • March 7, 2024:            Brightmoor community meeting


Join the email list to receive project updates

  • Send your name and email address to DWSD Public Affairs with the subject line "Brightmoor List Serv."

Questions? Call 313-880-2812.