April Special General Election, Vote Today

Click Here for More Information

$40M Detroit Water and Sewerage Department project to increase capacity in the local and regional sewer system

2022

$40M Detroit Water and Sewerage Department project to increase capacity in the local and regional sewer system

  • Project to keep about 100 million gallons of stormwater annually out of the combined sewer system on the city’s westside, reducing basement backups
  • Two new detention basins and green paths inside Rouge Park
  • Lead service line replacement and downspout disconnection included as part of the project

DETROIT – Today, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) Director Gary Brown and Councilman Fred Durhal, III announced the groundbreaking of a five-year, $40 million project that redirects rainwater and snowmelt from a westside neighborhood into two new detention basins, as well as provides other neighborhood improvements. The construction will be led by Detroit-based business, Major Contracting.

Two new detention basins will filter stormwater and discharge it directly into the Rouge River, providing significant relief to the local and regional combined sewer system. The project also includes water main and lead service line replacement. New for this DWSD project is the addition of downspout disconnections for about 400 houses that have gutter downspouts connected to the sewer system. Major Contracting will begin the preparations for the new sewer piping related to the detention basins. 

“After three years of community engagement with the Far West Civic Association, the Friends of Rouge Park along with other stakeholders, today we begin construction of our largest stormwater project to date,” said Gary Brown, DWSD director. “The stormwater improvement project in Far West Detroit is unique to our other 16 green stormwater infrastructure projects in that it redirects stormwater from an entire neighborhood into new detention basins in a city park and keeps it out of the sewer system by discharging to the Rouge River. It is transformative projects like this which will lead to operating a more climate resilient sewer system.”

Retention for nearly 100M gallons of stormwater annually As part of its long-term strategy to reduce the amount of rainwater and snowmelt going into the combined sewer system, DWSD has been designing and planning a massive stormwater project in the Far West Detroit neighborhood near Rouge Park since 2016. Several community meetings have taken place and regulatory approval from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) has been secured.

Construction of the ultimate stormwater retention project began this month and will be completed within five years and will represent an investment of more than $40 million. The project, which also will include water system and sewer system upgrades, will direct roof and street runoff from the Far West Detroit neighborhood near West Warren and Telegraph Road into two new stormwater retention basins. There are 1,200 homes in the neighborhood.

It is estimated that the retention project will remove 98 million gallons of stormwater runoff each year from the combined sewer system on the city’s far west side. A regional effort, led by DWSD, significant funding has been secured from the Oakland County Water Resources Commission as the project also benefits the Evergreen-Farmington Sanitary Drain Drainage District.

The stormwater will be stored in the new retention area, allowing it to be filtered naturally before being discharged into the Rouge River.

“Through the collaboration with City of Detroit Parks and Recreation designers and the Friends of Rouge Park, the stormwater project will enhance the park features for all residents and visitors,” said Lisa Wallick, DWSD field services director for stormwater and permits.

A Far West Stormwater Improvement fact sheet is posted at https://detroitmi.gov/document/far-west-stormwater-improvement-project-fact-sheet-summer-2022, and project updates will be posted at www.detroitmi.gov/sewerupgrades. DWSD is also providing a monthly update via email to residents and others who subscribe on the website.

Community engagement started in fall 2018 DWSD began meetings and sought input from community stakeholders including Far West Detroit residents in October 2018. More than 10 in-person and virtual stakeholder meetings were held over a three-year period including canvassing that specifically asked preferences on new sewer pipe placement and green pathways. DWSD made certain the design of the project will protect an area in Rouge Park often used by the neighborhood for gatherings.

Within the next six weeks, DWSD will host an in-person outdoor community meeting with the neighborhood and the Friends of Rouge Park to provide project updates and get input on detention basin planting selections.

“A year ago, I was in this same neighborhood where residents had experienced flooding and lost many of their possessions,” said Councilman Fred Durhal III who represents District 7 which includes the Far West Detroit neighborhood. “This neighborhood of 1,200 homes will feel the relief from this project in preventing basement backups and having the lead service lines replaced. When City Council approved this contract we made sure provisions were in place to restore property disrupted by the construction and do so in a timely manner.”

Detroit-based contractor to follow executive order Major Contracting, based in Detroit, was chosen through a formal bidding process as the primary contractor. It will be obligated to follow Mayor Mike Duggan’s Executive Order 2021-2 that requires at least 51% of the hours performed on City contracts more than $3 million is done by Detroit residents. Not only will the City of Detroit Civil Rights Inclusion & Opportunity Department monitor the compliance, DWSD’s opportunity and inclusion director will continually engage with the contractor and its subcontractors to ensure the effort is maximized.  

 

Groundbreaking for the Far West Stormwater Improvement Project - July 28, 2022
Council Member Fred Durhal III (left to right) joined DWSD Field Services Director for Stormwater & Permits Lisa Wallick and DWSD Director Gary Brown to begin construction of the Far West Stormwater Improvement Project

 

 

Construction Timeline for the Far West Stormwater Improvement Project
Initial construction timeline for the DWSD Far West Stormwater Improvement Project.

 

 

South Detention Basin near Majestic and Sawyer Streets for the Far West Stormwater Improvement Project
Design aerial view of new detention basin near Majestic and Sawyer streets.

 

 

Rendering of one of two detention basins to be constructed in Rouge Park
Rendering of one of two stormwater retention basins that will be constructed in Rouge Park.