Records: Detroit mistakenly shut off water to 900+ houses with no payment issues

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The city of Detroit erroneously had a private company shut off water to nearly 1,000 occupied houses, businesses and service providers that were up-to-date on their bills, according to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. buy clomid online

Among those shut off since April 2014 were 908 houses, three apartment buildings, churches, businesses, a provider of senior meals and the Michigan Opera Theatre.

Mayor Duggan
Mayor Duggan

Instead of halting or even slowing down the shutoffs until the problem was resolved, Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration accelerated the process, especially on homeowners. Last month, water was erroneously shut off to a church, two businesses and 132 houses and apartments that had no payment issues. buy diflucan online

The records also show that Mayor Duggan repeatedly lied to the public when he said moratoriums were placed on residential shutoffs. In fact, residential shutoffs increased and continued uninterrupted since he took over DWSD from then-Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

The Duggan administration tried to cover up the number of erroneous shutoffs last month, saying water service had been mistakenly stopped at just 11 houses – a number that has been repeatedly cited in the media. When Motor City Muckraker first revealed the erroneous shutoffs in March, the administration feigned surprise and said the problem – a DWSD clerical error – would be resolved.

“Clearly, this should not have happened and DWSD (Detroit Water and Sewerage Department) is now in the process of reviewing this list to ensure such an error does not happen in the future,” DWSD spokesman Greg Eno said. buy lasix online

Shutoffs graph

In the 11 days after Eno made that pledge, water was erroneously shut off to an additional 75 houses with current bills, records show.

Neither DWSD nor Mayor Duggan’s office would comment for this story, saying they needed more time to respond.

This comes as the city prepares to increase shutoffs, targeting an additional 28,000 customers with delinquent bills.

In most cases, water was restored within a day or two, but some customers waited longer.

DWSD also misled the public about the alarming number of broken hydrants. 


Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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