Cleanup Assistance

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

The Sewer Backup Response Program (SBU) provides professional cleanup assistance at no charge to eligible property owners and tenants who have experienced a sewer backup caused by the public sewer system.

To be eligible for cleanup assistance, these conditions must apply:

  • You must be an MSD customer. This means your property is in MSD's service area, and it is connected to the public sewer system. 

  • Your backup was caused by a problem related to the public sewer. After you call us to report a sewer backup, MSD technicians will investigate the problem to determine the cause.

If you meet the eligibility conditions, you will be approved for cleanup. A customer service representative will contact you to schedule an appointment with a professional cleanup contractor.

If your sewer backup was caused by a clog or blockage in your private building sewer (the pipe between your house and the public sewer in the street) or if your property has experienced overland flooding, you will not be eligible for cleanup assistance from MSD.


Cleanup Limitations

You need to be aware of two important limitations in our program:

  • Our cleanup services are limited to the areas and items affected by the current sewer backup only. Damages from previous backups, or from water intrusion through basement walls, ceilings, floors, doors, or windows are not covered by this program. 
  • If your property has a history of sewer backups related to the public sewer, you will be advised to elevate all appliances and other contents above the high water line.  


Hiring your Own Professional Cleanup Contractor

If you feel you cannot wait for MSD, you can choose to hire your own professional cleanup contractor. However, reimbursement is not guaranteed. If MSD refers you for a cleanup after its investigation, you will be reimbursed for reasonable cleanup costs. See the Damage Claims page for more information. You will not be reimbursed for cleanup costs if your backup was caused by overland flooding or an issue with your private building sewer. Please note that MSD does not reimburse for self cleaning (when you clean the property yourself without using a professional cleanup contractor).

  • 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