Preventing Backups

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

The best way to prevent sewer backups is to know why they occur. Sewer backups can be caused by a variety of issues:  

  • Clogs, blockages, and breaks in your private building sewer, foundation drains, or internal plumbing

  • Lack of capacity in the public sewer system as well as clogs, blockages, and breaks.

In addition, customers often mistake overland flooding for sewer backups. Overland flooding is when rainwater travels along the ground and enters a home through foundation cracks, windows and doors.


Click here for more information on private building sewers and how to prevent backups.

Click here for more information on the public sewer system and MSD's Sewer Backup Prevention Program.

Click here for tips on how to prevent sewer backups and overland flooding and protect your belongings.


Visit our Resources & Reports page for brochures, videos and other resources.

  • Contact the SBU Program

    Report a sewer backup

    Phone: (513) 352-4900
    Online: Report a sewer backup online

    If you have a sewer backup (SBU), please report it immediately. You can report sewer backups 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    Note: SBUs must be reported within 24 hours to be eligible for reimbursement of damages.

    Get information about sewer backup prevention

    (513) 352-4288

    Filing a claim

    Start here: How to File a Claim
    Get help filing a claim: (513) 244-5100
    Just need the form? SBU Claim Form (pdf)

    SBU Ombudsman with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati

    (513) 362-2801

SBU Site Search:

MSD Home    Customer Service    City of Cincinnati    Hamilton County    Project Groundwork

Understanding Sewer Backups

How to Prevent a Sewer Backup