Oh, the water. Is it back on yet?

Oh, the water. Is it back on yet?
August 17, 2017 Bill Kubota

A look at some water shutoffs in Detroit

Bill Kubota, Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Bureau, greatlakesnow.org

A recent study here in Detroit linked serious health issues to people who’ve had their water shut off.

And there are a lot of water shutoffs in the city these days.

The Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) can’t tell us yet the number of water shutoffs so far this year, but Bridge Magazine, a Detroit Journalism Cooperative partner, reported that last year more than 27,000 Detroit homes had their water shut off because of unpaid bills.

DWSD estimates as of now, because of new leadership, less than one thousand households are at risk of water shutoffs for non-payment, and 98 percent of them get their water turned back on in 24 hours, most in the same day, because the residents worked out a payment plan or got financial help from the Water Residential Assistance Program.

Photo courtesy of Bill Kubota

DeMeeko Williams of Hydrate Detroit delivers water on the city’s east side, courtesy of Bill Kubota

In the following story reported by Will Glover and produced by Bill Kubota for Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Now, we followed community advocate DeMeeko Williams of Hydrate Detroit as he visits two people who need help turning their water back on, including one whose past due bill adds up to many thousands of dollars.

Video postscript: DuShawn Adams, one of the women shown in the story, had her water turned on again two days after DeMeeko Williams’ visit, thanks to support from the St. Vincent de Paul charity. Meanwhile, Williams is still looking for contributions to help Charlotte Woods get her water back on.

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