DETROIT — Private water operators are expected to request an extension to the April 7 deadline set by the Detroit emergency manager’s office requesting information on private sector participation in running the city’s water and sewer assets, according to an article by Global Water Intelligence.

The city released the RFI last Friday with the purpose of exploring various levels of private sector involvement in the operations of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), the article reported.

The city is open to a possible lease, concession, O&M agreement or outright sale, noted the article.

It has been speculated that the short response window was intentional, continued the article, as the Detroit emergency manager has been debating with the city’s suburbs about the creation of a regional water authority for months and the RFI might be a way of forcing them to the negotiating table.

According to the article, if the process moves past the RFI stage, it could be the largest such outsourcing deal in the history of the U.S. water sector.

Read the full article here.