The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department will now be run by a new regional water board, ending months of negotiation between city and county officials.
The move will also mean the end of three decades of federal oversight of the system.
The new seven-member board will take over on April 1. Mayor Dave Bing will appoint four of the commissioners. Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county executives will each name one.
Rate changes must win five out of seven votes and then approval by the City Council.
The move comes after years of debate among regional officials. The city of Detroit owns the department but about 75% of the utility’s 4.2 million customers live in the suburbs. It is one of the largest water systems in the country.
“This is an historic day,” said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. “After 30 years, an end is now in sight.”
The system carries roughly $4.6 billion of outstanding revenue bonds.