Sewer Backup

If You Are Experiencing a Sewer Backup
First, please contact the City of Lowell Department of Public Works to check the City's lines before calling a private plumbing firm.  The Lowell DPW will check the City's sewer mains free of charge.  Please call the City first to avoid unnecessary charges from private plumbing contractors.

The DPW will check the public sewer to determine if the backup is in the main or in the service line.  The DPW will infom you of what they find.  Any backup found to be in the public sewer main is the responsibility of the City to clear.  Action will be taken to restore the proper operation of the sanitary sewer by the DPW.  A backup determined to be in a service line is the responsibility of the property owner and a licensed plumber should be contacted.  The City ordinance states the property owner is responsible for their service line from their building to the sewer main.
Sewer Backup Contact Numbers
Workday, 8am to 5pm:  616-897-8457
After 5pm/Weekends/Holidays:  616-897-7123

Claims Information
On January 2, 2002, Public Act 222 of the Public Acts of 2001 became effective. PA 222 provides that, under certain circumstances, governmental agencies that own or operate sewage disposal systems may be held liable for the overflow or backup of the system. To pursue a claim against a governmental agency for personal injury or property damage resulting from a sewer backup, the claimant must file a written notice of the claim to the governmental agency within 45 days of the date that the damage or physical injury was discovered, or should have been discovered. If written notice is not provided within 45 days, a claimant will not be able to pursue a claim for the injuries and/or damages. Notice of Claim should be delivered to the Deputy City Treasurer. Failure to provide the required notice within the appropriate time frame may prevent recovery of damages.  Typically, the City will not reimburse for private plumbing contractor charges for any work to unplug a line if the City was not notified. To make a claim, you may use the Notice of Claim Form or provide a letter of notice.

A letter of notice must include the following

  • Your name, address, and telephone number
  • The address of the affected property
  • The date of discovery of any property damages or physical injuries
  • A brief description of your claim, including any pictures and cost estimates of damage.

The City will complete the necessary paperwork to submit the claim to the City’s Insurance Company.  The insurance company will perform its own investigation to determine liabilities associated with the incident and will contact the claimant of their findings. Failure to provide the required notice within the appropriate time frame may prevent recovery of damages.

The completed Notice of Claim Form, or letter of notice, and all other information must be sent to:
City of Lowell
Attn: Deputy City Treasurer
301 E. Main St.
Lowell, MI  49331