Sewer Backups

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

Fixing The Problem

Responsibility for fixing the problem depends on whether the stoppage is in your private line or the City of Vassar's main. If it is in the City'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 City's main, we’ll tell you so you can get it fixed. It is against the law for the City to work on private property but we'll help you as much as we can.

General Cost Information

By law, public funds can not be spent for private purposes, therefore, the City is only responsible for its own property - not your line or connection to the main. This is why it is important to make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers sewer backups.
The City can only be held liable for damages if we knew we had a problem and didn’t fix it in a reasonable time. If the stoppage is not in your private line, you can file a claim. City staff and representatives will investigate to see if the City is liable, which includes prior notice of the City system’s problem. The City can only pay for damages under extremely limited circumstances set out by law.

Avoid Sewer Backups

Call the City at the first sign of a problem. If your drains are running slowly, for example, call us so we can check the City’s sewer main. During normal working hours, please call City Hall at (989) 823-8517. Click here if after hours.

Dispose of grease and fats with your trash, not down the drain. Even if you run it through a garbage disposal, grease in drains can collect and harden into a plug.

Never connect sump pumps, French drains or other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It's illegal and the debris and silt will clog your line. Call a plumber to undo illegal connections.