Detroit Activists Looking to Implement Income-Based Water Rates in the City

Detroit residents are calling for a water affordability plan modeled after Philadelphia’s. The Philadelphia City Council recently approved a measure to calculate water rates based on a household’s salary. Roger Colton is a consultant for a new Detroit Water and Sewerage Department committee that’s studying affordability. He says Philadelphia’s plan not only discounts water rates, it forgives past customer debt.

The debt that they’re currently owed will be retired over time through a combination of customer payments and credits that are granted, so long as you make your current bill payments.”

-Roger Colton

Colton says he worked on a similar plan with the Detroit City Council about ten years ago, but the Water Department failed to implement it. Earlier this month, the City Council voted to increase water bills by 7.5 percent. 

Image credit: Marissa Gawel/WDET

About the Author

Marissa Gawel

Associate News Producer

Fan of road trips and roasted vegetables. Currently reports from WDET’s newsroom.   Follow @marissagawel

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