How do sewer backups occur?
Sewer backups can occur by either storm water seeping in walls, floors, windows or sewer backing up through basement floor drains. This often occurs during or after heavy rain events when water overloads the sewer due to blockages or debris, tree roots, grease or when a home sewer service line is in poor condition. Water backups are primarily caused by blockages in the home service line. Repairs and clean outs of the service line from the house to the sewer main are the responsibility of the homeowner.
What to do if a backup occurs:
Please take the following steps to minimize health concerns and property damage:
- Before entering the area, look for potential hazards for electrical shock and gas leaks.
- Due to the unsanitary nature of a water backup in the home, it is essential that all affected area be cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible. Many private companies can handle cleanup. To find a company, search for “Fire and Water Damage Restoration.” Pittsfield Charter Township cannot recommend any contractor such as a plumber or cleaning service.
- All affected appliances should be inspected prior to putting them back into operation.
- Keep children and animals out of the affected area.
- Take pictures of affected areas and keep receipts for insurance purposes.
In rare instances, the blockage is located in the sewer main. If you or your plumber suspect that the blockage is located in the sewer main, please call our office Monday-Friday from 8 am- 5pm at (734)822-3105. If you need to report a backup after hours, please contact the Utilities Department After Hours Personnel at (734)822-2107.
Public Act 222: Sewer Backup Legislation
The Act 222 of State of Michigan Public Act of 2001 clarifies when local governments are liable for sewer backups. The Act established a process to follow to seek compensation when a backup occurs. To make a claim for property damage or physical injury, it must be proven that the public sewer had a defect and that Pittsfield Charter Township knew or should have known about the defect and failed to take reasonable steps to repair or correct the defect. If you would like to make a claim, you must file a written claim form with Pittsfield Charter Township within 45 days after the backup or overflow is discovered.