Sewer Back-Up Information

What a Homeowner Needs To Know

Upon discovery of an overflow or sanitary backup, immediately contact the Water and Sewer Division at 248.594.2800 weekdays between the hours of 7:00 AM and 5:30 PM, Monday through Thursday. After business hours, during weekends and on holidays, call the Emergency Water and Sewer line at 248.433.7730.

Preventing Sewer Back-ups: Keeping Drains Clear …

Bacon and Eggs in SkilletSewage backups and overflows are often the result of grease buildup, which can lead to costly clean-ups and repairs, as well as health concerns. Household kitchen drains are a big source of residential fats, oil and grease, better known as FOG (e.g. cooking oils, butter, and meat fats). When grease and oils are repeatedly washed down the sink it can accumulate in both your plumbing system, as well as the Township’s sewer system at large. The proper methods for oil and grease disposal in your home can be as easy – see these quick tips below:

  • Use an old coffee can or jar as your grease container
  • Pour greasy or oily food waste into the container, NOT down the drain or garbage disposal
  • Allow animal fats to cool or solidify in the container before scraping the pan or throwing the grease container in the trash
  • Disposing of cooking oils and grease properly in your home can help to prevent clogged pipes and grease-related backups in the future. Remember that grease blockages can cause wastewater to overflow inside your own home and damage private property, so do your part and keep grease out of the drains!

    If you have any questions or would like to learn more about fats, oils and grease prevention techniques, please contact the Bloomfield Township Water and Sewer Division at 248.594.2800.

    For more information on FOG prevention, download the following brochures & poster.

    Brochures

    This document is available to view in PDF format. FOG Prevention: Residential
    This document is available to view in PDF format. FOG Prevention: Businesses

    Poster

    This document is available to view in PDF format. Keep Drains Clear of Fats, Oils, & Grease

    Public Act 222: Sewer Back-up Legislation

    The State of Michigan passed a new law, Act 222 of Public Acts of 2001, which clarifies the conditions under which municipalities are liable for sewer backups. The Act sets standards to determine the extent to which a municipality is liable for backups and establishes a process that affected persons must follow to seek compensation when a backup occurs. The Township does not have legal authority or obligation to repair a private sewer lead.

    Anyone making a claim for property damage or physical injury must prove that the public sewer had a defect. Further, the person must prove that the governmental agency knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known about the defect. Also, it must be proven that the governmental agency having the legal authority did not take the reasonable steps in a reasonable amount of time to repair, correct or remedy the defect. Finally, the defect must be 50% or more of the cause of the event and the property damage or physical injury.

    If you experience an overflow or backup of a sewage disposal system or storm water system, and intend to make a claim, you must file a written claim with the Charter Township of Bloomfield Clerk within 45 days after the overflow or backup is discovered. Claim forms are available from the Township upon request. Claims must be mailed to the Bloomfield Township Department of Public Works - Water & Sewer Division, Tom Trice, Director, 4200 Telegraph, P.O. Box 489, Bloomfield Township MI 48303-0489.

    Failure to provide the required written claim within the allotted time will prevent recovery of damages.

    If you are interested in receiving additional information or have any questions concerning this new law, please feel free to contact Bloomfield Township Department of Public Works - Water & Sewer Division, Tom Trice, Director at 248.594.2800.