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Press Release 2015 09 02
September 02, 2015
Gregory Eno (313) 573-0775
Curtrise Garner (313) 701-2147)


  DWSD’s water and sewer lien debt gets bumped up two notches

  ‘Increased efficiency, providing better services’ cited as major reasons for upgrade

Noting “increased efficiency, improved billing collections and providing better services,” Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the long-term credit rating of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD).

The upgrade takes DWSD’s water and sewer lien debt up two notches—from Baa3 to Ba2—and gives the Department a “Positive” outlook.

Moody’s also upgraded DWSD’s credit rating on the water and sewer second lien debt, two notches—from Ba3 to Ba1—with the same “Positive” outlook.

Moody's upgrade is significant regarding DWSD’s future, because the company is considered one of the Big Three credit rating agencies.

This marks DWSD’s second ratings upgrade from Moody’s within the last twelve months.

“These credit rating upgrades are affirmation that DWSD is headed in the right direction, and they will potentially save customers of the system money by lowering borrowing costs in the future,” said DWSD Director Sue F. McCormick.

In announcing the credit rating upgrades for DWSD, Moody’s cited factors that have strengthened the rating, including the Department’s “increased efficiency, improved billing collections and providing better services.” Moody’s also noted DWSD’s demonstrated willingness to increase debt service coverage and engage in better financial tracking.

In referencing DWSD’s overall management and governance, Moody’s noted that the “…strong team continues to improve system performance and operations…”

The credit rating upgrades also reflect the expected continued improvement in the water system’s operating performance, coupled with the expectation that DWSD’s debt and operations will be fully assumed by the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) by no later than January 1, 2016. As noted in the report, once all of Detroit’s water and sewer revenue debt become obligations of GLWA, the rating could be several notches higher, reflecting the legal separation of the authority from the city.

About the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department
DWSD supplies high-quality drinking water to Detroit and 127 other communities in southeast Michigan. The Department provides wastewater services to Detroit and 76 other southeast Michigan communities.

DWSD has three customer service locations in Detroit. The locations are:

Downtown Customer Service Center - Water Board Building
735 Randolph Street, First Floor (enter off Bates Street)
Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., (closed on Saturday from 12 to 12:30 p.m.)

Eastside Customer Service Center
13303 E. McNichols (1 1/2 blocks west of Gratiot)
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Westside Customer Service Center
15600 Grand River (1 block west of Greenfield)
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Customer Call Center
(313) 267-8000
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.