Building Backups

Expedited Reimbursement Program for Sewage Backups

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) administers an Expedited Reimbursement Program for sewage backups caused by wet weather.  The Program offers up to $5,000 per dwelling unit, per event for reasonable, documented clean-up and disinfection costs.  Reimbursement is based on the eligibility requirements set forth in Appendix E of the Modified Consent Decree.  Final determinations are issued within 60 days of receiving all necessary information and documentation.  In order to be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Report the backup to the City as soon as possible, and no later than 24 hours after discovery by calling 311 or using the 311 website.
  • File a completed Application for Expedited Reimbursement of Building Backup with the DPW Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs by email, certified U.S. Mail, or an equivalent method of commercial delivery:

Baltimore City Department of Public Works
Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs
Abel Wolman Municipal Building
200 Holliday Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-396-7755 between 8:30am and 4:30pm
[email protected]

  • Applications must be received within 90 days after the backup.
  • The backup must be caused by wet weather surcharging. Events prior to April 6, 2018 are not eligible.
  • You must be a residential customer (i.e., homeowner or tenant).
  • If your property is insured against backups or similar events, you must receive a final determination from your insurance company.

You must also provide copies of the following documentation with your Application:

  • Documentation of all cleanup, disinfection, and disposal expenses related to the backup, including any insurance deductible paid.
  • Documentation provided to, and received from, your insurance company.  Insurance documentation may be provided up to 30 days after receipt from your insurer
  • If you are a tenant, you must provide a copy of your lease signed by the owner of record.
  • If you are filing an application on behalf of an owner or tenant, you must include written proof of power of attorney.

If your Application is eligible, you will receive a Release for signature.  Once the signed Release is received, your check will be processed. 

Acceptance or denial of your Application is not a determination of fault or liability.  Property damage and related claims are not eligible under the Program, but you may file a claim with the Baltimore City Law Department for those losses – you may file an Application and a claim simultaneously, although you may not recover twice for disinfection and cleanup costs.  Please note that the Law Department makes all determinations of liability for sewage backup claims filed against the City.  You may also wish to discuss your options with an attorney who can advise you – the City does not give legal advice, and nothing herein is intended as such.  For information regarding the general liability claims process, please visit the Law Department’s website.

Resources & Tools

Sewage Backup Expedited Reimbursement

Understanding and Preventing Sewage Backups

Handling Sewage Backups