For a sewer emergency, discontinue household water use and call 888-481-0439. Calls are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, weekends and holidays.
The MHOG Utility Department makes every effort to be responsive to citizens needs when the unfortunate situation of a sewer backup occurs. Unfortunately, each case has its own unique set of circumstances which may affect any type of claim settlement that could ensue.
To aid you in understanding the complexities of liability in sewer damage claims, the following information is supplied:
Because a sewer is not a closed system, many things put into the sewer can clog the system. Large amounts of grease and disposable diapers are two common items that cause problems. While municipalities can adopt rules prohibiting dumping of these items into the sewer and can try to educate the public about the problems they cause, there is really no way they can absolutely prevent this from happening. Other factors can cause backups as well. Tree roots can grow into and obstruct the system and overload it.
The courts have made it clear that the municipality is liable for sewer backup damages only if the municipality's negligence caused the damage. There are four basic questions the courts look at in deciding this issue. The municipality is liable if the answer to all four is yes.
If the municipality exercises reasonable care in inspecting and maintaining its sewer lines, and if it responds to problems in a reasonable manner and time, it is not liable when sewer backups occur.
In order to comply with the requirements of P.A. 222, if you experience an overflow or backup of a sewage disposal system, you must file a written claim with the MHOG Utility Department within 45 days after the overflow or backup was discovered. Notice should be mailed to the MHOG Utility Department, 2911 Dorr Road, Brighton, MI 48116.
Failure to provide notice will prevent recovery of damages. Contact the MHOG Utility Department 24 Hour Emergency Department at 888-481-0439 immediately upon discovery of an overflow or backup.
Using these legal guidelines, the MHOG Utility Department has established general common sense procedures dealing with sewer backups. If you do experience damages due to a sewer backup and wish to present a claim, please contact, Utility Director, Greg Tatara at 810-227-5225 Ext. 36 for additional information. We will review all of the claim information and do our best to achieve a reasonable outcome.
THE FILING OF A CLAIM DOES NOT GUARANTEE ANY PAYMENT WILL BE FORTHCOMING, UNLESS LIABILITY IS DETERMINED.
Notice of Claim forms are available for download in the related documents section on the right-hand side of this page.
To present a claim, you will be required to provide the following items:
If you do not provide sufficient detail to support your claim, the items will lose much of their value.
Reimbursement for the Actual Cash Value of damaged items is the maximum amount payable.