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
Commissionerís 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.
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 Commissionerís
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.