detroit water and sewerage department http://michiganradio.org en Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-shutting-water-delinquent-customers-everyone-getting-same-treatment <p>In Detroit, controversy is raging over one of the few things the bankrupt city has in abundance: water.</p><p>So far this year, Detroit has shut off for 17,000 customers as it tries to collect millions in overdue bills.</p><p>But many residents are upset with how the city is going about it—and question whether some are getting special treatment.</p><p></p><p></p><p><strong>“Here we are, giving out water…and we still owe on the water bill”</strong></p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:57:10 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18337 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? As Detroit water shutoffs continue, groups look to provide emergency relief http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-water-shutoffs-continue-groups-look-provide-emergency-relief <p>Thousands of Detroit residents are without water service right now due to unpaid bills—but social service agencies and community groups are trying to make sure no one goes thirsty.</p><p>The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cut off service to more than 7500 delinquent account-holders in April and May—and ramped up shutoffs in June.</p><p>Department officials say it’s a necessary step to collect millions of dollars in back payments.</p><p>But critics say it’s caused real suffering, and could lead to a public health crisis.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18272 at http://michiganradio.org As Detroit water shutoffs continue, groups look to provide emergency relief Protesters call for immediate moratorium on Detroit water shut-offs http://michiganradio.org/post/protesters-call-immediate-moratorium-detroit-water-shut-offs <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Protesters voiced their anger Monday morning over the controversial water shut-offs in Detroit.</span></p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:44:53 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18210 at http://michiganradio.org Protesters call for immediate moratorium on Detroit water shut-offs Congressman appeals to Pres. Obama over Detroit water shutoffs http://michiganradio.org/post/congressman-appeals-pres-obama-over-detroit-water-shutoffs <p>DETROIT (AP) - Longtime Detroit Congressman John Conyers has sent letters to President Barack Obama and other officials requesting immediate action and relief regarding water shutoffs in the bankrupt city.</p><p></p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 23:10:00 +0000 The Associated Press 18199 at http://michiganradio.org Congressman appeals to Pres. Obama over Detroit water shutoffs Welfare rights group backs UN criticism over Detroit water shutoffs http://michiganradio.org/post/welfare-rights-group-backs-un-criticism-over-detroit-water-shutoffs <p></p><p>The United Nations says recent water shutoffs at the homes of poor Detroiters are a violation of international human rights.</p><p>That came after a letter was sent this week to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.</p><p>The letter came from a coalition of welfare rights groups. They accuse Detroit's water department of putting poor people at risk with mass shutoffs.</p><p>Back in March, the city began to shut off water service to more than 150,000 delinquent customers who collectively owed more than $118 million.</p><p>One of the groups appealing to the United Nations is the <a href="http://www.blueplanetproject.net/">Blue Planet Project</a>, based in Ottawa, Ontario. We were joined today by its founder Maude Barlow.</p><p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:48:02 +0000 Stateside Staff 18164 at http://michiganradio.org Welfare rights group backs UN criticism over Detroit water shutoffs Detroit water department defends shutoff campaign after UN criticism http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-water-department-defends-shutoff-campaign-after-un-criticism <p>The people who run Detroit’s water system faced fierce criticism Wednesday, after the <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14777&amp;LangID=E">United Nations issued a statement</a> calling the city’s mass water shutoffs a possible human rights violation.</p><p>Critics lined up to blast officials at a Board of Water Commissioners meeting for ongoing efforts to cut off customers with unpaid bills.</p><p>Many cited the UN’s assertion that “when there is genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections.”</p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18158 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit water department defends shutoff campaign after UN criticism Detroit water rates headed up, as department's future remains in limbo http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-water-rates-headed-departments-future-remains-limbo <p>Detroit Water and Sewerage Department officials say they’re working to put the system on sound financial footing – including raising rates and shutting off service to thousands of households.</p><p>Water department officials briefed the Detroit City Council on planned rate hikes Tuesday.</p><p>They propose hiking the typical Detroit residential customer’s water bill by 8.7% to 10.4%.</p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 01:27:13 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17966 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit water rates headed up, as department's future remains in limbo No "grand bargain" for Detroit's water department, as Orr considers private bids http://michiganradio.org/post/no-grand-bargain-detroits-water-department-orr-considers-private-bids <p>As <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140603/POLITICS02/306030065">“grand bargain” legislation sails through Lansing</a>, the fate of Detroit’s water department could become the biggest issue holding up a speedy exit from bankruptcy.</p><p>Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr maintains the city needs to find some way to generate revenue from the system, which serves more than 4 million people in southeast Michigan.</p><p>Orr is still pursuing two different possibilities: spinning the department off to a regional water authority, or leasing it to a private operator.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:35:54 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17860 at http://michiganradio.org No "grand bargain" for Detroit's water department, as Orr considers private bids Detroit bankruptcy judge revives talks on regional water agency http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-bankruptcy-judge-revives-talks-regional-water-agency <p>DETROIT (AP) - A judge has ordered the city of Detroit and the suburbs to further explore the creation of a regional water department.</p><p>Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes granted Wayne County's request&nbsp;Thursday&nbsp;to have the parties sit down with a mediator.</p><p>Detroit's water department provides water to Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has expressed interest in spinning off the department as a regional agency.</p><p>But some suburban leaders are concerned about future financial burdens on their residents.</p><p>The judge says the bankruptcy case is a "unique opportunity" to keep negotiating. Otherwise, Rhodes says the opportunity "will be lost forever."</p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:58:19 +0000 The Associated Press 17266 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit bankruptcy judge revives talks on regional water agency Stateside for Thursday, April 3, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-thursday-april-3-2014 <p>It's no surprise that shipping conditions on the Great Lakes are miserable, even though spring has officially sprung and the shipping season officially opened March 25.</p><p>No commercial traffic has yet made it to the Soo Locks and ice is still four feet thick in some places, particularly in Lake Superior. On today’s show, we speak with a member of the U.S. Coast Guard about what's being done about this.</p><p>Then, what happened as World War II brought women and minorities into Detroit's assembly plants?</p><p>And, the Detroit bankruptcy is starting to affect the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Water prices could go up, impacting consumers far outside the city. Daniel Howes joined us for our weekly check-in to tell us more.</p><p>Also, Phil Cavanagh became the third candidate to enter the race to replace Robert Ficano as Wayne County Executive.</p><p>First on the show,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan's economy may be pulling itself up and out of the Great Recession.</span></p><p>But our schools are still mired in an "education recession" and all of our children are paying the price.</p><p>That's the finding of the newest State of Michigan Education Report from The Education Trust-Midwest.</p><p>It's an eye-opening exercise to see how our state's schools and student performance compares to two states that are powering ahead in the national assessment: Massachusetts and Tennessee.</p><p>What lessons can Michigan learn from those two states?</p><p>The co-author of the new education report, Amber Arellano of The Education Trust-Midwest, joined us today.</p><p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 21:06:34 +0000 Stateside Staff 17094 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Thursday, April 3, 2014 Detroit bankruptcy struggle now affects Water and Sewerage Department http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-bankruptcy-struggle-now-affects-water-and-sewerage-department <p>The spotlight of the Detroit bankruptcy struggle is widening. From the DIA&nbsp;to the retirees and now to water.</p><p>As the clock ticks, emergency manager Kevyn Orr has fired the latest salvo in the increasingly testy talks with county representatives over the future of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.</p><p>Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined us today to discuss the issue.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:53:54 +0000 Stateside Staff 17089 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit bankruptcy struggle now affects Water and Sewerage Department Orr looks to private sector for help with Detroit water department mess http://michiganradio.org/post/orr-looks-private-sector-help-detroit-water-department-mess <p>Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is looking at potential private operators for the city’s water system.</p><p>Orr says the city has been forced to consider<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140318/NEWS01/303180110/Kevyn-Orr-Detroit-water-system"> leasing the water system to a private operator</a> because talks to create a<a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140317/METRO01/303170015"> regional authority with suburban customers broke down.</a></p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 16926 at http://michiganradio.org Orr looks to private sector for help with Detroit water department mess Fate of Detroit's water department a big question mark in city's plan to shed debts http://michiganradio.org/post/fate-detroits-water-department-big-question-mark-citys-plan-shed-debts <p>What does the future hold for Detroit’s water and sewerage department?</p><p>We should have a better idea later this week, when the city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, submits a landmark plan in bankruptcy court this week.</p><p>Orr must submit a plan of adjustment for how to deal with Detroit’s estimated $18 billion in long-term debt, and one major sticking point has been what to do with the water department.</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 18:36:33 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 16493 at http://michiganradio.org Fate of Detroit's water department a big question mark in city's plan to shed debts A crucial week in talks to decide fate of Detroit's water system http://michiganradio.org/post/crucial-week-talks-decide-fate-detroits-water-system <p>Intense negotiations regarding the future of Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140120/NEWS05/301200018/detroit-water-sewerage-department-talks-special-meeting-rates"> continued behind closed doors in federal court</a> Tuesday.</p><p>Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is pushing hard for a deal that would largely transfer control of the water department to a regional water authority.</p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 03:24:36 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 16128 at http://michiganradio.org A crucial week in talks to decide fate of Detroit's water system Flint water rates to be reviewed http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-water-rates-be-reviewed <p>The rates <a href="http://www.cityofflint.com/Utilities/utilities.asp">Flint residents pay for water</a> are going to be reviewed.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 15:00:27 +0000 Steve Carmody 14894 at http://michiganradio.org Flint water rates to be reviewed Orr wants regional governance for Detroit Sewer and Water http://michiganradio.org/post/orr-wants-regional-governance-detroit-sewer-and-water <p itemprop="articleBody" style="line-height: 16px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">Under a plan being pushed by Detroit Emergency Manager&nbsp;Kevyn Orr, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department would be overseen by a regional authority - something officials in cities and townships around Detroit have wanted for some time.</p><p itemprop="articleBody" style="line-height: 16px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">The Detroit News reports Orr&#39;s office is &quot;fast-tracking&quot; the creation of a regional authority:</p><blockquote><p itemprop="articleBody" style="line-height: 16px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">Detroit&rsquo;s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has been working with regional officials and water department board members on a plan. The authority would either own or lease the department, collect revenue from water bills and make payments to the city. The annual revenue could range from $60 million to $120 million, said Bill Nowling, Orr&rsquo;s spokesman.</p><p itemprop="articleBody" style="line-height: 16px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">The move is critical to Orr&rsquo;s bankruptcy strategy in part because it would provide the city with a secure revenue stream, Nowling said.</p></blockquote><p itemprop="articleBody" style="line-height: 16px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">Detroit Water and Sewerage is undergoing a massive downsizing effort. The News reports the goal is to reduce the size of the workforce by 80% by 2017.</p><p itemprop="articleBody" style="line-height: 16px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">There are no details on how the regional authority would be structured yet.</p><p> Mon, 07 Oct 2013 16:28:38 +0000 Mark Brush 14743 at http://michiganradio.org Orr wants regional governance for Detroit Sewer and Water Ground is broken on a quarter billion dollar water pipeline in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/ground-broken-quarter-billion-dollar-water-pipeline-michigan <p>A quarter billion dollar water pipeline project broke ground today near the Lake Huron shoreline.</p><p></p><p>The source of the water was on the minds of the people at the groundbreaking, including Pastor Floyd Fuller who gave the invocation.</p><p></p><p>““Drink from your own cistern.&nbsp;&nbsp; Running water from your own well,” Fuller said, quoting from the Book of Proverbs.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>The well in this case is not a well but a lake.&nbsp; Lake Huron to be specific.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 19:42:29 +0000 Steve Carmody 13304 at http://michiganradio.org Ground is broken on a quarter billion dollar water pipeline in Michigan There's some pushback against Kevyn Orr's plan for Detroit's water department http://michiganradio.org/post/theres-some-pushback-against-kevyn-orrs-plan-detroits-water-department <p>Detroit’s emergency manager has a plan for the city’s water department—but not everybody likes it.</p><p>Kevyn Orr proposes <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130616/NEWS01/306160072/water-department-detroit-city-crisis">leasing the system to a “Metropolitan Area Water and Sewer Authority”</a> as it part of a larger restructuring of city operations.</p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 22:50:41 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13097 at http://michiganradio.org There's some pushback against Kevyn Orr's plan for Detroit's water department Human waste as farming fertilizer? Detroit may become top producer of dried 'biosolids' http://michiganradio.org/post/human-waste-farming-fertilizer-detroit-may-become-top-producer-dried-biosolids <p>Detroit has budgeted $683 million to move forward with plans to build a biosolids dryer facility in the city.&nbsp;If built, it is expected to be the largest facility of its kind in the United States.</p><p>What exactly is a "biosolids dryer facility," you ask?</p><p>It converts human waste materials into energy or fertilizer.</p><p>Whether you view this as innovative green technology or just plain gross, the contract is a big deal for Detroit.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 29 May 2013 16:20:29 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12762 at http://michiganradio.org Human waste as farming fertilizer? Detroit may become top producer of dried 'biosolids' Flint ending Detroit water contract, DWSD looking at its options http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-ending-detroit-water-contract-dwsd-looking-its-options <p>The city of Flint is dumping its contract with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.</p><p></p><p>Flint emergency manager Ed Kurtz signed a contract today to get the city’s water from a new pipeline that’s being built from Lake Huron to Genesee County.</p><p></p><p>Officials with Detroit's system made a final offer to try and keep Flint’s business. But Kurtz says the numbers were “unreliable.”</p><p></p><p>“After the first year…for 29 years they could raise those rates…do any kind of capital expenditures…anything they wanted to do…and just add them to our bill,” says Kurtz.</p><p></p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 22:22:08 +0000 Steve Carmody 12170 at http://michiganradio.org Flint ending Detroit water contract, DWSD looking at its options