What a Homeowner Needs To Know
If you discover an overflow or sanitary sewer backup in your home, which does not appear related to an internal plumbing problem, immediately contact the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s office (WRC) at (248) 858-1127 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM on weekdays. After business hours, during weekends or on holidays call (248) 858-0931.
Sewer Backup Guidelines
Public Act 222: Sewer Backup Legislation
Public Act 222 is the Michigan law that clarifies the conditions when municipalities become liable for sewer backups. The law sets standards and establishes a process that people must follow when seeking compensation for a sewer backup. Municipalities do not have the legal authority or obligation to repair a private sewer lead.
Anyone making a claim for property damage or physical injury must prove that the public sewer had a defect. Further, the person must prove that the governmental agency knew or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known about the defect. Also, it must be proven that the governmental agency having the legal authority did not take the appropriate steps in a reasonable amount of time to repair, correct or remedy the defect. Finally, the defect must be 50 percent or more of the cause of the event and the property damage or physical injury.
If you experience an overflow or backup of a sewage disposal system or storm water system, and intend to make a claim, you must file a written claim with the WRC within 45 days after the overflow or backup is discovered. Failure to provide the required written claim within the allotted time will prevent recovery of damages.
Claim forms are available upon request from the WRC. Claims must be mailed to the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s office, One Public Works Drive, Waterford, MI 48328-1907.
If you would like to receive additional information, or have any questions concerning this law, please contact the WRC at (248) 858-1127 during normal business hours.