Report a Sewer Emergency

Call SD1 at 859-578-7450 (option 1) to report a sewer emergency. Sewer emergencies may include issues such as backups, overland flooding, overflows and collapsed infrastructure. It’s important for customers to report all sewer emergencies to SD1 as soon as possible, so SD1 can investigate the cause. SD1 also considers customers’ reports when prioritizing improvement projects.


Sewer backups are caused by a buildup in pressure in the sewer system that sends sewage back up into homes or businesses through floor drains, toilets or other plumbing fixtures. Blocked pipes also can cause or contribute to sewer backups. Learn more about wet-weather backups – those caused by excess rainfall – in SD1’s Understanding Wet-Weather Sewer Backups brochure.

Property owners who experience wet-weather backups may be eligible for financial assistance for installing a backup solution – a mechanical device that can prevent wet-weather backups. Learn more about SD1’s Backup Assistance Program, who is eligible and how to participate in the Backup Assistance Program Guide for Property Owners and Plumbers.

Standard homeowners insurance generally does not cover damage, cleanup or replacement costs due to backups unless an optional backup policy or rider is purchased. As a result, you may wish to consider purchasing sewage backup insurance. Contact your insurance agent for coverage premiums and deductibles.  

Prepare for Heavy Precipitation
Heavy rainfall or snowmelt can cause   flooding, sewer backups and drainage issues to properties and neighborhoods. SD1 takes measures to prevent this through proper maintenance of public storm water infrastructure, but cities and property owners also can take steps to reduce the risk of damage related to excess storm water. Learn more  about 
preparing for rain events

Overland flooding

Overland flooding can occur for a variety of reasons, all stemming from excessive storm water runoff. Storm water runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt is unable to soak into the ground due to impervious surfaces, including sidewalks, rooftops, parking lots and streets. Learn more about overland flooding and how to prevent it in SD1’s Understanding Overland Flooding brochure.

Collapsed infrastructure 

SD1 works to maintain and replace our pipes and other infrastructure before they become damaged or collapse. Sometimes, however, infrastructure can fail. When this occurs, SD1 responds as soon as possible to determine if it is SD1’s responsibility and, if so, to correct the issue.

In some cases, the damaged infrastructure may not be owned or operated by SD1. In this case, a city, county, homeowner association or even a private property owner may be responsible.

A private sewer lateral is the pipe connecting a home or business’s plumbing to the public sewer system. It is the responsibility of the private property owner. A private sewer lateral may be damaged or malfunctioning if your home or business is experiencing blockages or sewer backups, or if sewage is overflowing into the environment. Sinkholes also can be a sign of a defective lateral. 

Learn more about your private sewer lateral in SD1’s Maintaining Your Private Sewer Lateral brochure. Sometimes, a private lateral runs underneath a public roadway; in this case, private property owners may be eligible for assistance in repairing a portion of their lateral if it fails. Learn more in SD1’s Private Lateral Repair Program FAQ.
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