Friday, February 3, 2017

DWSD Plans to Offer Tiered Pricing for Water

The Detroit News reported yesterday [2/2] that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is planning to roll out a tiered billing system that would offer residents and businesses a lower rate on the first 1,500 gallons used per month. Consumption above that amount would be charged at a higher rate. 

Details, including the actual rates being proposed, have not been released.

Note: It is unclear whether rates for sewerage, which are generally tied to water consumption, would be included in the new tiered rate plan. The Detroit News also notes that the proposed block method of billing could shift $5 to $7 million dollars of water cost from residential to business and commercial customers. 

Along with DWSD's new drainage charge (what some have dubbed a "rain tax") that was rolled out last October, adding $750 per impervious acre per month to many business and commercial property owner's utility bills, higher water rates to subsidize residential customer rates may not be welcome news.
For more about DWSD Update, click here.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Flint Water Treatment Plant, Costs to Upgrade Could Now Exceed $100 Million (UPDATED)

A new draft report prepared by CDM Michigan pegs the cost to upgrade Flint's Water Treatment Plant at  more than $100 million. Completion of these upgrades may be required before Flint is permitted to switch its source water (again) to the Karegnondi Water Authority. 

In 2011, before the Flint Water Crisis erupted, the estimated capital upgrades for Flint's WTP were estimated at $61.5 million.

So, what's changed to drive the estimated capital costs 50% higher?   

Update (2/7): is reporting here that a final report has been issued by CDM Michigan that puts the estimated upgrade cost at $108 million. And the time to make these upgrades? According to CDM Michigan, it will be somewhere between August, 2019 and October, 2020. Without a current source of funding, these dates seem very optimistic. In 2012, when DWSD contracted for upgrades to the Springwells Water Treatment Plant, it allotted 1,710 days for the $75.8 million project.  

For more about DWSD Update, click here.