Sewage Onsite Support (SOS) Cleanup Program

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Sewage Onsite Support (SOS) Cleanup Program provides cleaning and disinfection services at no cost to residential customers, who reside in Baltimore City, and are impacted by sewage damage caused by a capacity-related wet-weather event resulting from heavy or sustained rain. DPW’s SOS Cleanup Program provides cleaning, disinfection and disposal services in the aftermath of a sewage backup to remove the health risk from your property when you need it most.

  • SOS Cleanup Program is 12-month pilot program
  • DPW contracts with cleaning professionals to provide SOS Cleanup services.

Am I Eligible?

The SOS Cleanup Program services are ONLY available to clean and disinfect property 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. If there is a light rain for 2-3 hours, moderate rain for 30-60 minutes or heavy rain for 15 minutes, there was likely a wet weather event.

The SOS Cleanup Program does not provide services for damages caused by sewer basement backups that are not caused by capacity-related wet weather events. Non-wet weather backups include clogs caused by wet wipes, roots, fats, oil, and grease (FOG) or maintenance-related issues.


To qualify for DPW’s SOS Cleanup Program:

  • The cleanup request must be for damage caused by a backup that occurred during a capacity-related wet weather event.
  • You must be a Baltimore City residential customer (e.g., a homeowner or tenant).
  • The residential property owner, tenant or property manager must call 311 or go to www.baltimorecity.gov/311-services to report the damage to DPW    The report to 311 must be made as soon as it is discovered
  • The City must determine that the damage is caused by a capacity-related wet weather event.

What’s Does the SOS Cleanup Program Cover?
Once the cause of your backup is confirmed to be a capacity-related wet weather event, DPW will deploy a team of professional cleaning contractors to:  

  • Disinfect and Clean: Eliminate dangerous viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms from affected areas and remove all affected property.
  • Dispose and Remove: Remove soiled carpet, flooring, furniture, and other affected property.
  • Deodorize: Use professional-grade odor removal equipment, technologies, and processes to tackle unpleasant aromas.
  • Dehumidify and Dry: Once hazardous materials and excess water has been removed and safely disposed of, completely dry and dehumidify affected areas.

    Professional Cleaning Contractors

    DPW contracts with cleaning professionals to provide services under the SOS Program. Having professionals thoroughly clean your home protects you from worrisome health risks associated with contacting raw sewage and can help you get your life back to normal as soon as possible.

    DPW’s Sewage Onsite Support (SOS) Cleanup Program is a 12-month pilot program providing third-party vendors to clean and disinfect your home.


In the event of an extended period between the backup and its discovery, customers may be able to use DPW’s Expedited Reimbursement Program for Sewage  Backups to assist with disinfection and cleanup costs.

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

As a protective measure, you may wish to contact your insurance provider to determine whether your policy covers sewage backup cleanup.