About the Program





The aim of MSD's Sewer Backup (SBU) Program is to help mitigate the impact of sewer backups caused by the MSD public sewer and to help educate the community about preventing and protecting their property from sewer backups caused by private building sewers or overland flooding.


The SBU program has been in operation since January 2004 and was the first of its kind in the nation. Previously known as the Water-in-Basement or WIB program, it is required under MSD's Consent Decree.


Since its inception, the program has handled on average about 3,000-6,000 reports of potential sewer backups every year.


  • View our SBU Program Report  This report, which is updated monthly, provides information on the number of properties served by our program and dollars spent.



The ombudsman for the SBU Program is the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. If you have questions MSD cannot answer, you can contact the Legal Aid Society at (513) 362-2801.



The SBU program provides the following services to MSD customers:


  • 24/7 reporting of sewer backups by phone at (513) 352-4900 or online. Sewer backups must be reported to MSD within 48 hours of discovery to be potentially eligible for claims.
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  • Investigation of the sewer backup to determine whether it's covered by MSD's SBU Program.
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  • Cleaning services for eligible properties.
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  • Reimbursement of damages for eligible properties.
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  • Protection from future sewer backups for eligible properties.
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What's Eligible and What's Not


ELIGIBLE: Public Sewer Backups

Learn about public sewer backups


NOT ELIGIBLE: Private Sewer Backups

Learn about private sewer backups


NOT ELIGIBLE: Overland Flooding

Learn about overland flooding