ELIGIBLE: Public Sewer Backups


Property owners and tenants are eligible for assistance from MSD if the sewer backup was caused by inadequate capacity in the MSD public sewer or negligent maintenance or operation of the MSD public sewer.


Sewer backups caused by the public sewer may be eligible for cleaning services, claims, and the Prevention Program.



During a rain storm, sewers can fill up with too much stormwater which can overwhelm their ability to carry the flow to a treatment plant. As a result, a mixture of sewage and stormwater can overflow into local streams and rivers through sewer outfalls or back up into the environment through manhole lids or storm inlets.


The flow can also get pushed backward through private building sewers into the lower levels of home, businesses, and other buildings. This is known as a sewer backup.


Sewer backups due to inadequate capacity are more common in combined sewers, which carry both sewage and stormater in the same pipe, but they can also occur in sanitary only sewers due to the unauthorized infiltration and inflow of stormwater.


MSD's Wet Weather Program will help reduce sewer overflows and localized sewer backups in some areas, but it will not eliminate sewer backups within MSD's service area.



Sewer backups from the public sewer can also be caused by clogs, blockages, and breaks in the sewer pipe as part of normal wear and tear on a sewer system, and/or maintenance activities.