Water rate hike goes into effect in SE Michigan on July 1 -- What to know

Water and drainage rates are set to increase Thursday in Southeast Michigan.

Detroit Water and Sewage Department customers will see about a 2% water rate increase and drainage rates will jump about 8%.

"The average person will see about a $3 increase," said Gary Brown, the director of DWSD.

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A contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority will keep the water rate increase from climbing into double digits the way it has in previous years.

"We made a decision that we will not raise rates above 4%," said Brown said.

According to DWSD, heavy rain and flooding like what the area experienced over the weekend proves working drainage systems are crucial.

"Someone has to pay for all that storm water that has to go through the waste water treatment plant to be cleaned and put back in river," Brown said.

Birmingham will see the biggest rate hike.

"Based on an average user they will see around a $60-$65 increase," said Mike Gerber, the finance director of Birmingham. 

Gerber said the extra money will be used to replace a water main and additional water and sewer lines would be inspected and cleaned.

"We use dollars from rates in order to service the debt to improve the system," Brown said.

 Help from the DWSD is available for residents struggling to pay their water bill.

"If there is any Detroiter that does not have their water on today, they need to call us. We have the dollars available for assistance," Brown said.