Sewer Backup Information


Sewer CoverIf a sewer backs up or overflows into your home, immediately discontinue household water use and call the Department of Public Works at (517) 337-9459 or (517) 351-4220 - option 1 (after-hours emergency calls).

Public Act 222: Sewer Backup Legislation
The State of Michigan passed Public Act 222 in 2001, which clarifies the conditions under which municipalities may be liable for a sewer backup. Public Act 222 sets standards to determine the extent to which a municipality could be liable for backups and establishes a process that affected persons must follow to seek compensation when back-ups occur. It is important to note that the City is not responsible for private sewer lines (lines that run from the home to the street) and each incident has its own unique set of circumstances, which may affect any type of claim settlement that may ensue.

Anyone making a claim for property damage or physical injury due to a sewer backup must prove that:

  • the public sewer had a defect
  • the governmental agency knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known about the defect.
  • the governmental agency having the legal authority did not take the reasonable steps in a reasonable amount of time to repair, correct or remedy the defect.
  • the defect was 50 percent or more of the cause of the event and property damage/physical injury.
  • they own and have related the value of the damaged personal property
If you think you have met all five of these criteria and intend to make a claim, you must file a written claim with the City of East Lansing within 45 days of discovery of the backup. Claim forms are available upon request and must be mailed to:

City of East Lansing
Attn: Elizabeth Caesar / Finance Department
410 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 319-6911
 
Water Infrastructure

To safeguard public health, maintain quality of life and protect the environment, much of the City of East Lansing’s water and sewer pipes will need to be replaced and/or enlarged due to their age or limited capacity in the coming years. Learn more about water infrastructure.