Sewer Backups

SBU logoSewer Backup? 5 Things You Need to Know

On November 5 and 6, the Cincinnati area was once again hit with a massive rain storm. The storm covered all of Hamilton County but the northern portions took the brunt of the rain.

ATTENTION: Please report street flooding and clogged stormwater inlets to your local municipality. MSD is only responsible for overflows from its sewer system. Water that is not coming from MSD's sewer system is the responsibility of local municipalities or private property owners. Click here for tips on preventing, protecting and responding to floods.

MSD is currently investigating more than 400 reports and counting of sewer backups.

Here are 5 things you need to know if you have experienced a sewer backup:

  1. Report Your Sewer Backup to MSD Within 24 Hours of Discovery. You must report your sewer backup to MSD within 24 hours of discovery. You can report sewer backups 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone at (513) 352-4900 or online.

  2. Report Online If Possible. If possible, report sewer backups online in lieu of calling as MSD’s telephone hotline, (513) 352-4900, is currently experiencing an extremely high volume of calls related to the rain storm.

  3. Know that Delays are Likely. All available MSD field crews are out responding to reports of sewer backups, and MSD will investigate your report as soon as possible. However, due to the high volume of reports, it could be 1-2 days before we can send an MSD crew out to investigate your report. If the backup is determined to be caused by the public sewer system, MSD will schedule a free cleaning of your property. If you feel you cannot wait for MSD to determine whether a free cleaning will be provided, please see #4 below.

  4. Reimbursement for Cleanups is Not Guaranteed. You can choose to hire your own professional cleanup contractor, but reimbursement is not guaranteed. If MSD refers you for a cleanup after its investigation, you will be reimbursed for reasonable cleanup costs. However, you will not be reimbursed for cleanup costs if the backup is caused by overland flooding or an issue with your private building sewer. Please note that MSD does not reimburse for self-cleaning.

  5. Document Your Property Damage. If you intend to submit a claim to MSD for property damage, 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. Claim forms are available online at or by calling (513) 244-5100.

For more information about MSD’s Sewer Backup program, including cleanup and damage claims assistance, 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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