Wade Rose, Water Resource Specialist, assesses a property to help reduce fees and plan for future improvements.
A map of DWSD's green infrastructure project sites.
The three property types of DWSD's stormwater management program.

DWSD Green Infrastructure Stormwater Site Assessments


Detroit Water and Sewerage Department


Detroit, MI

Site Assessments Help Stormwater Customers Understand Fees and Plan for Future Infrastructure Improvements

In 2016, the city of Detroit launched a program that updated a methodology for assessing its drainage charge. The program changes also included a group of options allowing for the reduction of a given property’s drainage charge through the implementation of green stormwater infrastructure practices (GSI) such as rain gardens, permeable pavements, green roofs and cisterns. Construction of any of these GSI practices provides property owners with a monthly credit which can reduce the drainage charge by up to 80%.

In an effort to help property owners realize the potential of GSI, the City partnered with OHM Advisors to conduct site assessments and engineering analyses for commercial, industrial and institutional faith-based properties. The engineering analysis provides property owners with an understanding of how an impervious surface on their site affects the drainage charge and how adding GSI contributes to a citywide effort to create a more resilient sewer system that reduces flooding and combined sewer overflows. To date, our team’s design and engineering professionals have assessed more than 200 non-residential properties across over 330 acres of managed impervious surfaces in this ongoing project, and have conducted one-on-one meetings with each property owner to present potential GSI solutions and explain how implementation of those solutions can result in decreased drainage charges.

At the core of our team’s assessment meetings with property owners is the goal of listening to their concerns and creating implementable solutions based on their feedback that help them to not only maintain functionality of their property, but build toward an urban future that improves the quality of life for all.

Project Highlights: municipal engineering consulting, community engagement, site assessments