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City of Novi
City of Novi

Sewer Backup or Overflow Information

If you have experienced a sewer overflow or back-up on your property, please read the City’s reporting process below:

  1. Water & Sewer Personnel will assist the resident with completing the Sewer Backup Incident Report Form at the time of the incident. (Water and Sewer Personnel to return the form to the Water & Sewer Manager)
  2. Once the Water & Sewer Manager reviews the Form, he will forward it to the Clerk’s Office and the Human Resources Department.
  3. The Water and Sewer Division will investigate the cause of the sewer overflow or back-up. Part of the investigation may include televising the main sewer lines and inspecting sewer manholes in the area. This information is also forwarded to the City Clerk’s Office and Human Resources Department and is used to determine the causes of blockage and to prevent future back-ups.
  4. When the Human Resources Department receives the Sewer Backup Incident Report Form, they will send it to the City’s Insurance Company along with supporting documentation. The City Clerk will also send a packet of information to the resident explaining how the resident can file a claim. The City’s Insurance Company will perform its own investigation to determine liabilities associated with the incident.

Below is an abridged version of Public Act 222 notice which describes the State of Michigan’s process for determining governmental immunities and liabilities. This Act is very specific in how liabilities are determined.

Public Act 222 Notice

Any citizen having experienced an overflow or backup of a sewage disposal system or storm water system must file a written claim with the City of Novi with in 45 days. City personnel are available to take pictures of the damaged areas if you as the resident desire their assistance. Their primary role, however, is to clear the obstruction in the sewer main line and restore the sewer system to proper working order as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience during this time.

A secondary role of the Water and Sewer Division is to investigate the situation to determine the cause of the sewer problem. Once a resident makes a claim regarding a sewer overflow or backup, the Water and Sewer Division sends the information to the City Clerk’s Office and the Human Resources Department for processing. Within five business days of the event, the City Clerk will send a package to the resident that explains the specific liabilities of the sewer event.

Liabilities for sanitary sewer backups are regulated by the State of Michigan through Public Act 222 of 2001. The Act requires that those seeking compensation for personal injury or property damage must show: 1) that the City’s sewage disposal system had a defect; 2) that the City knew or should have known about the defect; 3) that the defect was not remedied by the City in a reasonable amount of time; and, 4) that the property damage or personal injury resulted because of the defect. The Act requires that the claimant report personal injury and/or property damage to the City within 45 days of the sewer overflow or backup. The sewage disposal system consists of the City sewer mainline and not the building sewer lead or internal plumbing components of the property.

Should you have any questions regarding the process of reporting or about the damages following this event, you may contact the City of Novi Water and Sewer Division at 248-735-5644.