People's Water Board public service billboards along Detroit freeways are intended to bring greater awareness to the issue of public health impacts from unaffordable water and wastewater services.

For assistance with water bills, please call Wayne Metro Community Action Network at (313) 386-WRAP (9727). Payment assistance on bills and plumbing repairs is available for DWSD and GLWA customers, plus you may qualify for additional federal aid through CARES Act funding. 

Please help ensure that all Detroit residents, employees, students and visitors can be protected against the spread of COVID-19.  Your support will help ensure all residents have the water they need for health and well-being. Call Mayor Duggan’s office at (313) 224-3400 and ask him to increase DWSD’s efforts to contact and assist residents who are living without water, and to continue $25 monthly payments for vulnerable residents.

You’ll find our billboards in the City of Detroit along these highways: I-75, I-96, the Lodge fwy and the Southfield fwy.

In February, the number of COVID-19 infected residents in Detroit was on the rise. The People’s Water Board appealed to Governor Whitmer to disallow water operators from shutting off residential service and to restore service to low-income households that cannot afford bills and rates. Running water is necessary in this pandemic for people to wash their hands properly and stop the spread of the viral disease.

On March 9, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order requiring water department operators across Michigan to restore water service to residents whose service was disconnected due to non-payments. This public health directive helps ensure all Michigan residents have residential running water to protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19. Low-income residents who cannot afford water rates and bills are at significant risk of exposure to the coronavirus and other water-borne diseases.

“At least 141,000 Detroit households have been disconnected since 2014 as part of a widely condemned debt-collection programme, according to records obtained by Bridge, a news magazine. Just last year, taps were turned off in more than 23,000 homes, three-fifths of which were still without water by mid-January 2020.” Source: The Guardian, 3/12/20.

Detroit is still experiencing a disproportional number of COVID-19 cases, especially among African American and low-income residents. Many households are still unaware of the Governor’s Executive Order against water shutoffs and for service restoration. New reports show coronavirus on the rise in Michigan. You can help protect public health in Detroit by asking DWSD officials to strongly publicize and mail more notifications to all residents regarding water restoration awareness. Please call DWSD at 313-267-8000.

We know a primary way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is by hand-washing with soap and water. But unaffordable water rates for poor and low-income customers cannot be an obstacle to public health and family well-being. A low-income based water affordability program makes it possible for vulnerable residents to pay and have water and sanitation services, plus it provides water operators with a consistent, sustainable revenue instead of costly shutoffs that ruin pipes and lives. Tell Detroit Mayor Duggan you support water affordability for low-income residents, call (313) 224-3400.


The People’s Water Board Coalition advocates for the human rights to water and sanitation and equitable access and affordability for impacted communities.


2022 People's Water Board Coalition