When Your Basement Floods

Sometimes homeowners experience flooding or sewer odor in their basements. This may be caused by a broken or obstructed sewer line, or by unusually heavy rainfall. Our field personnel can assist the homeowner by helping to identify the causes of these problems. Please remember that homeowners are responsible for all repairs on their property. Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is responsible for all repairs within the public right of way or sewer easement.

  • When homeowners report a problem with their sewers, DPU will check the main sewer line during normal working hours. The homeowner is requested to have a private licensed sewer cleaner check the line prior to calling DPU to determine where the obstruction is located.
  • DPU is responsible for all cleaning and repairs within the public right of way or sewer easement.
  • If there is an obstruction between the main sewer line and the home, it is the homeowners' responsibility.
  • If there is a break between the right of way or sewer easement and the home, the homeowner is responsible for repairs.
  • Obstructions can be cleared by the homeowner, a licensed sewer tapper, a licensed sewer cleaner, or a licensed plumber.
  • Repairs can be made by a licensed sewer contractor only.

HOW TO CLEAN UP A FLOODED BASEMENT

The cleaning and reconditioning of basements should be carried out as soon as possible after flood waters recede. These are the steps to take:

  1. Wear boots and rubber gloves.
  2. Remove silt and debris.
  3. Clean basement floors and walls with soap and warm water.
  4. Prepare a mixture of one (1) tablespoon vinegar, one (1) cup bleach, and one to two gallons water.
  5. Spread mixture over affected area and allow to dry.
  6. Thoroughly rinse area with water.

WHAT TO DO WITH FOOD ITEMS EXPOSED TO FLOOD WATERS

Because flood water may contain raw sewage or other contaminants:

  1. Exercise extreme care when using foods that have been exposed.
  2. Destroy any food which was directly exposed to flood waters.
  3. Salvage commercially canned foods by removing their labels and washing and disinfecting with a water and bleach mixture (see above).

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR ENTIRE HOME IS FLOODED 

In situations of extreme flooding you may be forced to abandon your home. Before you reoccupy your home observe the following precautions:

  1. Turn off main power switches and unplug all appliances. Have a qualified service person check all appliances, outlets and wiring.
  2. Check your fuel oil or gas system for leaks or breaks. Check all pilot lights and burners.
  3. Scrub entire home, clothing, furniture, drapes, and all other items that have been exposed to flood waters with chlorinated water.
  4. Scrub all carpets and rugs that were exposed to flood waters with a mild detergent. Remove carpets and rugs and clean silt from floor underneath. Carpet padding may need to be destroyed.
  5. Clean basement (see above) and ventilate entire house.

Notice: This information has been approved by the Ohio Department of Health. 

BASEMENT FLOODING GRANT PROGRAM

The Basement Flooding Grant Program assists property owners in the purchase and installation of corrective measures to prevent basement flooding caused by sewer backups from overloaded City sanitary sewers. If you are unsure of the cause of a basement flood, the program literature and program staff can usually rely on the details of how the flood occurred to help diagnose overloaded sewers or other problems.  The grant program does not assist with other problems, such as needing to have your sewer cleaned or repaired between the house and the city sewer.  If you are currently experiencing or have recently experienced a basement flood, here are some quick pointers about this program.

  • If you believe your basement flood is or was from a sewer backup, report it to the sewer dispatcher at 419-936-2924 immediately.
  • Water coming in around the walls is not part of this program. The grant program protects from future flooding coming up your basement sewer drain. 
  • If your basement is currently wet, do not look to this program for immediate relief.  Do review all information to determine if this can help you for the future.
  • A recent basement flood indicates the risk of a near future recurrence while the ground remains saturated and sewer systems are still draining excess water.
  • Consider all options for immediate protection.  The information available on this page can help you understand what is happening so you can decide to use temporary measures to plug or restrict the flooding together with pumping of excess water.
  • The grant program is active and there is some backlog.  Applications are currently being processed with about a 2 month turn around.

Basement Flooding Grant applications and additional program information is available by viewing or downloading the links below.