MSD offers reimbursement for eligible damages from sewer backups caused by the MSD public sewer. 


Not all sewer backups are eligible for reimbursement:


  • SBU Program only covers eligible damages arising from sewer backups caused by inadequate capacity or negligent maintenance or operation of the MSD public sewer system. It does not cover damages arising solely from private plumbing issues or overland flooding.
  • Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code - Section 2744.05) requires MSD to deduct any benefits a property owner or renter is entitled to receive through private insurance from a sewer backup claim.
  • Receiving professional cleaning services from MSD does not guarantee claim reimbursement. MSD authorizes properties for cleaning based on an initial finding, erring on the side of protecting public health. Subsequent investigations can sometimes result in a final determination that the sewer backup was not caused by the MSD public sewer.



Your claim must be received by MSD no later than 2 years after the date of your sewer backup. In most cases, you will receive a written decision within 60 days of MSD's receipt of your completed claim form.


Instructions for filling out an SBU Claim Form





The SBU Program provides reimbursement for the following types of expenses, if eligibility criteria are met:


  • Loss of personal property (e.g., furniture, miscellaneous storage items, appliances). MSD reimburses the current (depreciated) value of damaged personal property.
  • Structural damage to the interior of the property (e.g., flooring, dry wall, furnace, hot water heater, electrical). MSD reimburses the reasonable replacement value for structural damage, including critical mechanicals, or the equivalent diminution in value.
  • Reasonable expenses incurred to hire your own professional cleanup contractor, provided you were eligible for cleaning/mitigation services from MSD's contractor but did not receive them.



The SBU Program does not provide reimbursement for the following types of expenses:


  • Damage to property or items outside of the impacted building.
  • Loss of wages, rent, or income.
  • Services performed by a plumber on a private building sewer or internal plumbing.


Need assistance with your SBU claim?

MSD Claims Office

(513) 244-5100

MSD Claims Email

Email us

Legal Aid Society for Greater Cincinnati

(513) 326-2801

The Legal Aid Society serves as the Ombudsman for MSD's SBU Program. You can contact their office for assistance at any time.