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Sewer Backups... What To Do If it Happens to You(FAQ'S)

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Sewer backups are usually unexpected and always create a mess. At best, the backup requires unpleasant cleanup and sometimes expensive damage.

Who is going to fix the problem? 

That depends on whether the stoppage is in your private line or the Clifton Sanitation District main. If it is in the District’s main, we fix it as quickly as possible and keep you informed about what’s being done.

If the problem is with the private line connecting your house to the District main, we’ll tell you so you can get it fixed. It is against the law for the District to work on private property.

How do I tell if my sanitary sewer problem is in my house plumbing or in the public sanitary sewer main? 

Generally, if the problem is within the house plumbing or private sanitary service lateral, turning off all water use will stop the backup.

Who is going to pay for this? 

You pay the bill. This is why it is important to make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers sewer backups.

Will the District reimburse me for the damage if the backup is in the District’s main? 

Only if we had advance knowledge that the District system was at fault and we didn’t fix the problem.

Is this District policy or law? 

This is law. Public funds can’t be spent for private purposes. The District is only responsible for its own property – not your line or connection to the main.
The District can only be held liable for damages if we knew we had a problem and didn’t fix it in a reasonable time.

How do I find out if I can be reimbursed? 

If the stoppage is not in your private line, you can file a claim. District staff will investigate to see if the District is liable, which includes prior notice of the District system’s problem.
Make sure you have proper insurance. Sewer backups are not automatically covered by all homeowner’s insurance policies. Check your policy to make sure you are covered for damages due to sewer backups.

Remember, the District is not an insurer. The District can only pay for damages under extremely limited circumstances set out by law. Don’t assume you’re covered! You may need a special option for coverage. Talk to your insurance agent.