MSD's Sewer Backup Response (SBU) Program

SBU logoSewer Backup? 5 Things You Need to Know

If you think you have experienced a sewer backup from the MSD public sewer, here's a list of 5 things you need to know:

  1. Report Your Sewer Backup To MSD. Please report your sewer backup to MSD within 24 hours of discovery. You can report your sewer backup online or call MSD’s 24/7 telephone hotline at (513) 352-4900. We encourage you to report online if at all possible.

  2. Know That Delays Are Possible. During smaller rain events, MSD field crews will try to respond to your report within four hours or less of your call. In larger events, it could take 1 or more days before we can send an MSD crew out to investigate.

  3. MSD Will Investigate. MSD investigates all reports of sewer backups. If the backup was caused by the public sewer, you are eligible for assistance from MSD. It is important to know that sewer backups are also caused by clogs in private building sewers and that overland flooding can be mistaken for sewer backups. Water that is not coming from the public sewer system is the responsibility of private property owners or local jurisdictions. Please report street flooding and clogged stormwater inlets to your local jurisdiction. Learn more...

  4. MSD Will Call To Schedule Cleanup. If you are eligible, MSD will contact you by phone to schedule a free cleanup. This could take 1 or more days during high volume periods. If you feel you cannot wait for MSD to investigate and determine whether your sewer backup was caused by the public sewer, you can choose to hire your own professional cleanup contractor. However, reimbursement is not guaranteed. You will be reimbursed for reasonable cleanup costs if MSD determines the backup was caused by the public sewer. You will not be reimbursed for cleanup costs if the backup was caused by overland flooding or an issue with your private building sewer. Please note that MSD does not reimburse for self-cleaning. Learn more...

  5. Document Your Property Damage. If you are eligible for assistance, you can submit a damage claim to MSD. Please thoroughly document damages to your property to the best of your ability by:
    • Photographing the flooded area.
    • Photographing where the water is entering the building.
    • Photographing structural damages to your property (e.g., dry wall, paneling, flooring, carpet, furnace, hot water heater).
    • Creating an inventory list of personal property that is damaged or destroyed.
    • Photographing personal property on the inventory list that is damaged or destroyed.
    Only documented damages are eligible for reimbursement. Learn more and download a claim form...

For more information about MSD’s Sewer Backup program, please visit

Contact Us

Report a Sewer Backup:
(513) 352-4900 24/7 or online

Customer Call Center:
(513) 352-4900 24/7

Project Customer Service:
(513) 557-3594

Development Services:
(513) 244-1330

Media Inquiries:
(513) 557-7095


MSD Mailing Address:
1600 Gest St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45204

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