Mayor Scott, DPW Launch New Baltimore City Residential Sewage Onsite Support Cleanup Program
Tuesday Mar 23rd, 2021
Mayor Brandon M. Scott and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) are announcing the launch of a new Sewage Onsite Support (SOS) Cleanup Program. This 12-month pilot program provides professional cleaning, disinfection, and disposal services from a third-party vendor at no cost to Baltimore City residents impacted by capacity-related sewage backup damage caused by a heavy wet weather (rain/snowmelt) event.
Mayor Scott named making stronger commitments to cleaning up sewage backups as one of his first 100 day priorities. Today’s announcement is a first step toward that effort.
“We are pleased to now be able to offer the SOS Cleanup Program at no cost to residents because it is the right thing to do. DPW’s Sewage Onsite Support Cleanup Program provides quick, professional assistance to clean and disinfect your home, eliminating health concerns presented by sewage backups. We are acutely aware of the expense and inconvenience that sewer backups can cause,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott.
SOS Cleanup Program services are only available to Baltimore City residential customers impacted by sewage damage caused by a capacity-related wet weather event. A wet weather event occurs when at least one-fourth inch of precipitation is recorded within a 24-hour period. Light rain for 2-3 hours, moderate rain for 30-60 minutes, or heavy rain for 15 minutes is classified as a wet weather event.
The process to access the SOS Cleanup Program is simple:
- Baltimore City residents should call 311 to report a sewage backup as soon as it is discovered.
- After calling 311, a DPW inspector will be dispatched to investigate the sewage backup.
- Once the inspector or SOS administration team determines the backup was a result of a capacity-related wet-weather condition (rain or snowmelt) that overwhelms the capacity of the City’s sewer pipe, the customer will be offered information on the SOS Cleanup Program. SOS Program professionals are available 8:00 a.m. to midnight to clean, disinfect, dispose of sewage-contaminated items, and deodorize all exposed affected areas of the residence.
Please note that the SOS Cleanup Program does not offer property restoration or replacement of damaged personal belongings. The SOS Program also does not provide professional cleanup services for damage caused by sewage backups not related to a wet weather capacity-related event, such as clogs caused by tree roots, fats, oils, and grease (FOG). However, affected residents may file a claim with the Baltimore City Law Department for losses related to a sewage backup. For information regarding the general liability claims process, impacted residents should visit the Law Department’s website or call 410-396-3400.
Affected Baltimore residents who choose not to participate in the SOS Cleanup Program may apply for DPW’s Sewage Backup Expedited Reimbursement Program. The Program offers up to $5,000 per residence, per occurrence, for reasonable interior space cleanup and disinfection expenses. For more information about DPW’s Sewage Backup Expedited Reimbursement Program, click here.
DPW will not be the service provider for the SOS Cleanup Program. DPW will contact the third-party vendor and schedule appointments for approved residents. Residents will not receive a bill from the vendor for this service. Additional information on the SOS Cleanup Program, including a detailed brochure and a frequently asked questions document, is available on DPW's website.