Sewer Backup? 5 Things You Need to Know

Sewer Backup? Call us FIRST at: (513) 352-4900

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If you think you have experienced a sewer backup from the MSD public sewer, here's a list of 5 things you need to know:

  1. Report Your Sewer Backup To MSD. Please report your sewer backup to MSD within 24 hours of discovery. You can report your sewer backup online or call MSD’s 24/7 telephone hotline at (513) 352-4900. We encourage you to report online if possible, especially during larger rain events.

  2. Know That Delays Are Possible. MSD field crews will try to respond to your report within four hours or less of your call. In larger events, however, it could take 1 or more days before we can send an MSD crew out to investigate.

  3. MSD Will Determine Your Eligibility for Assistance. MSD investigates all reports of sewer backups to determine your eligibility for assistance, including cleaning services and reimbursement for damages. MSD’s Sewer Backup (SBU) Response program covers sewer backups caused by inadequate capacity in the public sewer or MSD’s negligence. If you have experienced a sewer backup caused solely by private plumbing issues or overland flooding, you will not be eligible for assistance from MSD. Water that is not coming from the public sewer system is the responsibility of private property owners or local jurisdictions. Please report street flooding and clogged stormwater inlets to your local jurisdiction. Learn more...

  4. MSD Will Call To Schedule Cleanup. MSD will contact you by phone to schedule a cleaning, if your property is authorized for cleaning based on the results of the initial investigation. This could take 1 or more days during larger rain events. If you feel you cannot wait for MSD to investigate and determine whether you are eligible, you can choose to hire your own professional cleanup contractor. However, reimbursement is not guaranteed. You will be reimbursed for reasonable cleanup costs if you meet the eligibility requirements for the SBU program. Please note that MSD does not reimburse for self-cleaning. Learn more...

  5. Document Your Property Damage. You can submit a damage claim to MSD, if you have reported your sewer backup to MSD within 24 hours of discovery and have allowed MSD to investigate. Only documented damages are eligible for reimbursement. If you plan to submit a claim, please thoroughly document damages to your property to the best of your ability by:
    • Photographing the flooded area.
    • Photographing where the water is entering the building.
    • Photographing structural damages to your property (e.g., dry wall, paneling, flooring, carpet, furnace, hot water heater).
    • Creating an inventory list of personal property that is damaged or destroyed.
    • Photographing personal property on the inventory list that is damaged or destroyed.
    Learn more and download a claim form...
  • Contact the SBU Program

    Report a sewer backup

    Call (513) 352-4900 24/7
    Submit an online report

    Note: Please report your sewer backup within 24 hours of discovery to be potentially eligible for reimbursement of damages.

    Cleaning Services

    Call (513) 244-5100
    Learn more...

    Filing a SBU Claim

    Download the SBU claim form
    Learn more...
    Call (513) 244-5100 for help with your claim

    MSD Prevention Program

    Call (513) 352-4288
    Learn more...

    Videos (Customer Education)

    Learn more...

    Resources & Reports

    Learn more...

    SBU Ombudsman with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati

    Call (513) 362-2801

SBU Site Search:

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Understanding Sewer Backups

How to Prevent a Sewer Backup