SD1 Backup Assistance Program Offers Assistance for Customers Affected by Sanitary Sewer Flooding

06/28/2019 -

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. – In light of the recent heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding in the Northern Kentucky region, Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) is inviting customers who have experienced wet-weather-related sanitary sewer backups in their homes and basements to apply for financial assistance through its Backup Assistance Program.

Established in 2017, the Backup Assistance Program offers financial assistance to homeowners for the installation of a backup solution in their basement, which are designed to protect homes and property from future sanitary sewer backups.

“SD1 is charged with providing safe and reliable storm water services to our customers,” said SD1 Executive Director Adam Chaney. “We are planning several improvement projects in strategic areas that will help address flooding and sewer backups, but none of these projects will completely eliminate the risk of flooding during extreme weather. Our Backup Assistance Program is in place to protect homes when storm systems become inundated during major rain events.”

Sanitary sewer backups occur during heavy rainfall in areas where storm water and wastewater from homes and businesses flows through the same pipes. These types of combined sewer systems, some built over 100 years ago, will often become overwhelmed by excess storm water during heavy rains. As more and more storm water flows into the system, the pipes become inundated and force a mixture of storm water and sewage back into homes through floor drains, toilets and other plumbing fixtures connected to the public sewer system.

Patti Higgins, a Latonia resident and SD1 customer, knows all too well the damage sanitary sewer backups can wreak on home and property. After experiencing several backups in her basement, Higgins decided to take advantage of the Backup Assistance Program offered by SD1.

“I filled out the paperwork, hired a plumber to install a backflow valve, submitted the bill to SD1 and got reimbursed for the work within the month,” said Higgins. “I used to watch the radar and run down to the basement to get everything off the floor when rain was in the forecast. Now when we have huge rainstorms, I don’t worry. I know my property is protected by the backflow valve.”

Any customer experiencing a sewer backup should contact SD1 immediately at (859) 579-7450, select Option 1 and report the backup. These “trouble calls” are documented and tracked to help SD1 identify problem areas, offer assistance to homeowners and plan projects to better manage flooding and drainage issues.

Customers who qualify to participate will work with a licensed plumber of their choice to determine the best backup solution for their home. This is typically either a backflow valve, a device that allows water to flow in only one direction during a rain event – away from the home; or a sewage ejector pump, which lifts sewage up and out of a customer’s property and discharges it back into the public sewer system. In many cases, SD1 will provide the full cost of the backup solution.

“SD1 gave me a solution to protect my home and property from sewer water,” said Higgins. “It’s given me peace of mind.”

For more information about SD1’s Backup Assistance Program and to find out if you qualify, visit, call (859) 578-7450 or email

“SD1 is eager to work with homeowners to find solutions to flooding and other weather-related issues that affect our region,” Chaney said. “The Backup Assistance Program is the most effective tool to help protect public health and property during these major rain events that appear to be happening on a more frequent basis.”

About SD1

SD1 is responsible for the collection and treatment of northern Kentucky’s wastewater and also serves as the regional storm water management agency. SD1 is the second largest public sewer utility in Kentucky, serving more than 290,000 residents throughout Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. SD1 maintains approximately 1,600 miles of sanitary-sewer system pipeline, 121 wastewater pumping stations, 15 flood pump stations, six package treatment plants, three major wastewater treatment plants, 416 miles of storm-sewer system and 31,106 storm-sewer structures. 

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