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Request a Permit

Request a permit for the water and sewer system.

City of Detroit property owners, developers or their authorized representatives, such as engineers, engineering consultants and contractors, are required to obtain Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s (DWSD) permit for the following:
  • Water tap to the City’s water main
  • Reconnection to an existing water service
  • Sewer tap to the City’s sewer collection system
  • Reconnection to an existing sewer service
  • Sewer service repair
  • Hydrant use
  • Demolition

Permitting Guide

Water and/or Sewer Service Permit

Review the following documents in order to follow the required steps to request a permit for a new water and/or sewer service tap or reconnection to an existing water and/or sewer service¹ and move through the process. See notes below for more information on when the Water and/or Sewer Service Permit is required.¹,²



1. A Water and Sewer Service Permit will be required for the following types of reconnections:

a. Services that have previously been disconnected. The permit is required regardless of if the service was disconnected on the public or private side.

b. Water services reconnected without a permit. The permit is required prior to DWSD turning the water on to the property.

c. Water services that are inactive due to connection to an abandoned main. Unoccupied houses and houses scheduled for demolition are not reconnected during new water main construction and will require a new water tap.

d. Active accounts that are only billing for stormwater.

e. Services for split parcels. If a parcel is split into multiple parcels, the parcel where the service is located becomes the service owner. The new parcels are required to make new taps.


2. Irrigation Services for Urban Farms will require a Water Service Permit through the above Water and/or Sewer Service Permit process. Go to the Water and Sewer Service Permit Engineering Review Request online form to obtain Permit Engineering approval prior to Water and Sewer Permit Application submittal for your Irrigation Service. 

a. Irrigation Services are to be 1" services.

b. Meters are required to be in Wabash Boxes. DWSD does not provide or sell Wabash Boxes.

c. Either an Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB) or Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) shall be utilized for backflow prevention. The AVB or PVB shall be located 6-inches above the highest piping point.

d. If chemicals are introduced into the irrigation system via a chemical feed pump, the portable piping must be protected by a Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assembly (RPZ) upstream of the chemical feed pump.


3. Submit the final site plans with a scope of work description indicating which sheets contain your civil site drawings related to water and/or sewer. These plan sheets should clearly highlight the connection points to the DWSD system(s) on the plans/drawings.


4. If your application for the building permit or fire suppression system is in process through BSEED ProjectDox, then BSEED will route your application to DWSD for review and approval within ProjectDox before you apply for an official DWSD permit.


5. A Water and Sewer Service Permit will not be required to turn on services that have been shut off at the stop box, but not disconnected. For more information about turning on a water service, visit the How Do I Turn On/Transfer/Turn off Water Service page.


Buildings with a lead water service line create an increased risk of exposure to lead from the drinking water. The drinking water from DWSD's system is safe; however, lead particles can dissolve into the water passing through a lead water service line. Lead can cause serious health and development problems, especially in developing fetuses and young children. If a property owner has work performed on their private lead water service line, DWSD recommends that the lead lines be replaced in full and not reconnected to the stop box. A permit applicant who reconnects a lead water service line does so at their own risk. Please contact DWSD Permitting for more information on a property's historical water service line records and how to determine if the property has a lead service line. Visit for more information about sources of lead and what you can do to reduce your exposure.

Fire Line Flow Test Request

Detroit property owners who are proposing to tap a DWSD water main for a fire line are required to have DWSD perform a fire line flow test.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] and include "Fire Flow Test Inquiry" in the subject.


Sewer Service Repair Permit

Detroit property owners who require a sewer service to be repaired are required to obtain a Sewer Service Repair Permit. A Sewer Service Repair Permit is required regardless of if the repair is located on private property or in the road right-of-way.

Demolition Water Clearance and Associated Fire Hydrant Use Permit

Detroit Property owners who want to demolish a building/structure are required to obtain a Demolition Water Clearance for the disconnection of water services. They are also required to obtain a Fire Hydrant Use Permit to use for demolition purposes.

The Demolition Water Clearance and Associated Fire Hydrant Use Permit will be issued concurrently and not until water service(s) have been disconnected.

Fire Hydrant Use Only Permit

If you need to use a fire hydrant for purposes other than demolition, you are required to obtain a Fire Hydrant Use Only Permit.

Equipment Shutdown Request (ESR) and Facility Access Request (FAR)

A customer/designer/developer is required to complete a FAR Request when accessing DWSD facilities for activities such as completing a CCTV video or any other investigation/cleaning. An ESR request is required to be completed for any shutdown activities, such as exercising or turning off valves or any other equipment.  

Development and Design Inquiries

Water and sewer drawings provided by DWSD are for information only. It is the responsibility of the developer/contractor to field verify locations and/or existence of DWSD assets before any plan for water and/or sewer connection is developed. If discrepancies are found, it is the responsibility of the developer/contractor to notify DWSD prior to submittal of any site plans and before any work begins. DWSD water mains typically have 5' to 6' cover and sewers typically have 8' or more of cover, depending on the location and is subject to field verification by the developer/contractor.

  • If you are completing a development project or new design within the city of Detroit and require information on existing DWSD assets within your project limits or require an Availability Letter, please submit your request to the following online form.
  • Online request form for DWSD asset information.

DWSD Letter of Acceptance for GLWA Special Discharge Permits

If you are seeking a Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Special Discharge Permit and need a Letter of Acceptance from DWSD, submit your completed GLWA Special Discharge Permit application and contact information through this online form to request a letter of acceptance from DWSD.