SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – The water coming out of the faucet at your suburban Detroit home won’t taste any different — but, as of Jan. 1, it’s now being managed by the Great Lakes Water Authority.

It’s a move that’s designed to limit future rate increases and improve the local water system’s aging infrastructure.

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“This is a historic moment for our region,” said Robert Daddow, chairman, GLWA Board, in a statement. “The Great Lakes Water Authority is a testament to regional collaboration and cooperation. It took a lot of effort from the counties, the City of Detroit and other partners to get to this point. I am thrilled that we are advancing, and believe that there are lots of opportunities to look forward to this new year.”

Serving nearly $4 million customers, the authority is leasing the water and sewerage department from the City of Detroit for $50 million a year for the next 40 years, taking the reins from the long-struggling Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

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The authority will provide customers throughout seven Southeast Michigan counties water and sewer service and upgrades, while all communities in the system will collect water bills from the customers within their own municipality.

“The standup of GLWA allows us to make improvements in our infrastructure that we have previously not had the funds to make,” said Gary Brown, Director, DWSD. “With the funds from the lease, we can focus our attention to updates and improvements from old water mains, to customer service and beyond. When the city’s system is improved, the benefits go beyond Detroit — we as a region all benefit.”

The DWSD, meantime, will continue to serve Detroit residents.

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The GLWA board includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties as well as two representatives from the city of Detroit, and one from the State of Michigan.