Welcome to the Sewer Backup Response Program

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

Letter from the MSD Director

The Cincinnati area has recently experienced a number of unusually large rain storms, resulting in overland flooding and sewer backups and significant damage to homes and possessions.

Rainstorm intensity appears to be on the rise.  A U.S. EPA report published in 2014 shows a 37% increase in rainstorm intensity in our region over the last 10 years. This trend, if it continues, will have a significant negative impact on our community. Our sewer system was built – like other sewer systems across the nation – to handle a 10-year rain storm, not storms of the magnitude we have been experiencing.

Hamilton County is one of the few communities in the nation that has a sewer backup (SBU) program. The SBU program, which is required under MSD’s federal Consent Decree with the U.S. EPA, provides 24/7 customer service, free cleanup assistance and payment of damage claims to eligible properties where the backup is caused by a lack of capacity in the public sewer system.

MSD's program does not cover solely overland flooding or sewer backups in private building sewers caused by clogs from trees roots, grease or other debris, or breaks in the portion of the building sewer located on private property.  Please visit our Flood Awareness page for more information.

If you have experienced a sewer backup, please contact us at (513) 352-4900 or report it online. MSD will investigate your property/street and determine if the sewer backup was caused by the public sewer system or whether it's due to an issue with your building sewer or overland flooding.

For those who would like additional information about the SBU program, we encourage you to contact the SBU Ombudsman at the Legal Aid Society at (513) 362-2801.

Thank you.


What We Do

The Sewer Backup Response Program (SBU) provides services to customers of the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) who experience sewer backups.

The SBU Program provides:

  • 24/7 customer service at (513) 352-4900. Use this number to report a sewer backup into your home or business, even if you aren’t sure what caused the backup.
  • Free cleanup assistance for property owners, if the public sewer system caused the backup.
  • Payment of damage claims, when eligibility criteria are met.
  • Protection from future sewer backups when the problem is caused by lack of sewer capacity.

Through the SBU Response Program, MSD serves as a good steward of our community and the environment.  



Do Your Part Cincinnati

MSD created the Do Your Part Cincinnati digital experience to help kids (young and old) learn about their sewer system.  Click Puddles the cat to watch the video, play the game, and read more about how to do your part.

  • 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