Oakland Co. takes step toward ditching DWSD

Apr 4, 2014

A resolution making its way through the Oakland County Commission would set aside $3 million to research alternatives to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Relations between Detroit and its suburban water customers have long been strained, a dynamic that's continued under Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
Relations between Detroit and its suburban water customers have long been strained, a dynamic that's continued under Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
Credit Bart / Flickr

Right now Oakland County is one of several counties that uses Detroit's system.

But cost issues have strained relations between the department and its suburban customers.

“It seems like it would be an awful lot of money to do this,” said Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash. “It would raise a lot of questions because we'd have to pay for the water we get now and this new infrastructure over time and that could be extremely expensive.”

Nash says he still hopes a deal to form a regional water authority will work out. Creating a regional authority to run the system is part of Detroit's restructuring plan.

“I think it still is by far the best option,” Nash said of the regional authority, adding that it’s “been a struggle these last 10 months dealing with the (Detroit) emergency manager” Kevyn Orr.

Talks between Detroit and suburban customers broke down. Now Detroit officials are looking into leasing the water system to a private operator.

– Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom