DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit water official says crews will begin shutting off service on Monday to people behind on bill payments.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department had previously said it would start shutting off service Sunday on delinquent residential accounts that were not on payment plans.

Spokeswoman Linda Clark told The Detroit News the department isn’t going to shut off people’s water without giving them a chance. She said crews would begin shutting off the service on Monday.

Hundreds of people lined up Saturday a water assistance fair at a customer service center to sign up for a payment plan.

In 2014, the Detroit water department was holding a hard line on those delinquent on their water bill saying for now, the water bills must be paid. That stance lead to wide spread outcry and protest in Detroit.

“At the DWAS Department — it’s not our goal to shut off water. We want people’s water on, just like they do; but you do have to pay for your water…That’s the bottom line.,” the department stated.

Garner said the reality is that nearly half of Detroit Water and Sewerage customers can’t pay their bills; and that has led activists to lobby the UN to step up and take action.

Officials have said that roughly 30,000 commercial and residential customers are on payment plans. About 23,000 have defaulted and face shutoffs.

Detroit’s water system serves about 700,000 city residents and 4 million people regionally.

MORE:  Detroit Water Department: ‘Shutting Off Water Is Something We’ve Always Done’

Delinquent Water Customers In Culture Of: ‘You’re Not Making Me Pay,’ Says Deputy Director

 

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