Rally Protests Water Shut-offs

MGN Online

DETROIT (AP) -- A nurses' organization is planning a rally in downtown Detroit protesting service shutoffs by the city's water department.

National Nurses United says the shutoffs pose a public health emergency and that Friday's event will seek an immediate moratorium on them.

The group's co-president, Jean Ross, calls the shutoffs an "attack on the basic human right of access to safe, clean water."

The water department stepped up the shutoffs in March to collect some of the nearly $90 million owed by residents, businesses and other customers with past-due accounts. Through June, more than $43 million was owed on over 80,000 city residential accounts.

Spokesman Bill Johnson says service has not been shut off to anyone who has come to the water department with a "legitimate problem" in paying their bill.