Public Act 222: Sewer Back-up Legislation

Sewer Backup Claims
In January 2002, a new Michigan law on municipal liability for basement flooding went into effect. Public Act 222 of 2001 requires claimants seeking compensation for physical injury or property damage as a result of a sewer-disposal or storm-water-system event to show:

    • the City's sewage-disposal system had a defect;
    • the City knew, or reasonable should have known, about the defect;
    • the City did not remedy the defect in a reasonable time;
    • the defect caused the event and the property damage or physical injury;
    • the claimant owns, and has shown the value of, any damaged personal property;
    • and the claimant notified the City.

Claimants must comply with statutory notice requirements. A claimant who has been injured or has suffered property damage as a result of a sewage-disposal-system event must provide written notice of the event within 45 days after the date the damage or physical injury was discovered.

The written notice must contain the claimant's name, address, telephone number, address of the affected property, the date of discovery of any property damage or physical injury, and a brief description of the claim. Failure to provide proper notice may bar the claim.

For additional information and forms, please download the Sewer Overflow/Backup Claim Form.

The above summarizes Public Act 222, which should be consulted for a full description of a claimant's rights and duties. To review or download the law, go to (then click “Public Acts”, then fill in the blanks with “222” and “2001” in the Public Act search). or click the following link Senate Bill 0109 (2001)