Basement Backup Reimbursement Program

Expedited Reimbursement Program for Sewage Backups

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) administers an Expedited Reimbursement Program for sewage backups caused by capacity-related wet weather events. The Program offers up to $5,000 per dwelling unit, per event for reasonable, documented clean-up, disinfection and disposal services 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. Although not required, it is helpful to report the backup to the City as soon as possible after discovery by calling 311 or using the 311 website.

Am I Eligible?

  • The Expedited Reimbursement Program is available for sewage damage caused by a capacity-related wet weather event. A capacity-related wet weather event occurs when at least ¼ inch of precipitation is recorded within a 24-hour period that causes the sewer lines to surcharge or overflow.
  • You must be a City residential customer (i.e., homeowner or tenant).
  • Sewage backup events prior to April 6, 2018, are not eligible.

How do I Apply?

Applications for the Expedited Reimbursement Program can be submitted online. You may also file a completed application for Expedited Reimbursement of Building Backup with the DPW Bureau of Water and Wastewater by email, certified U.S. Mail, or an equivalent method of commercial delivery:

Baltimore City Department of Public Works
Bureau of Water and Wastewater
Abel Wolman Municipal Building
200 Holliday Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-396-3500 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Email: the Reimbursement Department

  • Residents can call 410-396-3500 to have an application mailed or to inquire about the program.
  • Applications must be received within 90 days after the backup.
  • If your property is insured against backups or similar events, you must receive a final determination from your insurance company for expenses to be considered eligible for reimbursement.

Required Documentation
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.

After Your Documentation is Submitted
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, cleanup and disposal 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.

For information on the SOS (Sewage Onsite Support) Cleanup Program, please visit the SOS Clean Up Page.

Please note: Eligibility is limited to either the SOS Cleanup Program or Expedited Reimbursement Program, not both.

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