Water and Sewer Overview
Where does "city water" come from?
All of the water in our public watermains comes from the City
of Detroit. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has
treatment plants located along its system that take water from the
Detroit River and Lake Huron and treat it to make it safe to
drink. The water is then distributed in large watermains
throughout the metropolitan Detroit area.
The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department is
a branch of the City of Detroit government serving one million
City residents and three million suburban residents through
wholesale arrangements with 127 communities. The Department is
governed by a seven member board of commissioners whose members
are appointed by the Mayor. Four commissioners by City Charter
requirements represent Detroit residents. The three remaining
commissioners currently represent suburban wholesale customers
with appointees from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties.
Services provided by the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department
are regulated by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
as well as the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality and various other regulatory agencies.
Detroit Water & Sewerage Departmentís water supply system is
one of the largest in the nation in terms of water produced and
population served. The system has been the sole provider of all
water service in the City since commencement of water supply as a
public service in the mid nineteenth century. In addition the
system began providing wholesale service to surrounding
municipalities in 1940.
The water supply system draws fresh water from the Great Lakes
system which is naturally available with Lake Huron to the north,
the Detroit River to the south and Lake St. Clair to the east.
Detroit Water & Sewerage Departmentís water network consists of
3,400 miles of transmission mains within the City of Detroit and
790 miles of transmission lines in the remaining service area.
Detroit Water & Sewerage Departmentís five water treatment plants
pump 650 million to 1.3 billion gallons of water per day.
City of Detroit website.
What happens when the water gets here?
Farmington Hills taps into these large Detroit
transmission mains, and through our own system, transports the
water to the homes and businesses in Farmington Hills. Fire
hydrants are located along these lines so that most of the City
has fire protection. Valves that can cut off the flow of water are
regularly spaced along the watermain so that if there is ever a
reason to shut the main down, a minimum number of customers will
be out of water.
The City of Farmington Hills contracts with the
Commissioners Office for the operation and maintenance of the
Cityís watermains and sanitary sewer lines. In addition to the
operation and maintenance of the water system various other
activities are handled through the Water Resources Commissioners
Office such as:
Contracted services: Watermain breaks, lawn repairs, pavement
repairs and replacement Programs: Cross connection,
bacteriological and chemical water sampling Customer Services:
Meter reading, meter installation and processing of water bills
General and Administrative: Accounting, staff training, insurance
and property liability, alarm and parameter notification system
and various other overhead expenses.
Although the Water Resources Commissioners Office provides the
above-mentioned services to the City, the local water system is
owned by the City of Farmington Hills. The Water Resources
Commissioners Office provides these services as staff to the City
based on our code of ordinances through a contractual agreement.