Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions or you can download the Basement Backup Prevention Program Frequently Asked Questions PDF.
What is the Basement Backup Protection Program?
The Basement Backup Prevention Program (B2P2) provides preventive solutions for sewer backups. Through this program, eligible property owners who have experienced sewer backups can receive assistance.
Who is eligible for the program?
To be eligible, homeowners have:
- Experienced sewer backups.
- All tax payments are current.
What is the cost to the homeowner?
Depending on the solution selected, B2P2 will reimburse up to $4,750 in costs for modifications to your plumbing to prevent backups.
What device can be installed to fix the problem?
As part of Lansing’s B2P2, several solutions are available to help stop sewer backups – a backwater valve, a sewage pump or eliminating basement service.
- Backwater Valve
A valve is installed in the floor drain or in the service pipe that connects your basement plumbing to the City sewer. With a backwater valve, sewer can only flow from the house to the sewer.
A backwater valve stops sewage from flowing back into the house from the City sewer. It can be installed inside or outside of your home.
Periodic maintenance will help keep the valve clear and working well. While a backwater valve greatly reduces the chance of a backup in your basement, no solution is completely foolproof. Extreme conditions may still cause a backup.
- Sewage Pump
A sewage pump is installed under the basement floor or outside the home to collect sewage flowing from the basement fixtures and the basement floor drain. A sewage pump pushes sewage up to an over-head sewer above the floor level. From there, it can drain by gravity into the sewer service line.
- Eliminate Basement Service
Basement fixtures are disconnected. Neither a backwater valve or sewage pump is needed to prevent backups.
Am I responsible for maintaining the device?
Yes, the homeowner is responsible for maintenance of the backwater valve or sewage pump.
What happens if I get another backup after a device was installed?
While these improvements greatly reduce the chance of a backup in your basement, no solution is completely foolproof. Mechanical equipment can fail, but ongoing maintenance will help prevent this.
Is the program available for rental properties?
Yes. The actual property owner must apply for the program. If you rent a property, you can ask the owner if they wish to participate.
Isn’t the City’s CSO project supposed to address wet weather sewer issues?
Although the City’s CSO program does address wet weather sewer issues, many of the areas where sewage backups occur are in areas of the City that are not served by combined sewers. Therefore, the CSO program will not benefit these areas.
Will this program help me if my basement gets wet due to water seeping through the walls and windows?
No, the B2P2 is for homes that have experienced multiple sewer backups related to the city’s public sanitary sewer system. Water that seeps through basement walls, windows or floors during heavy rains is not related to the City’s sanitary sewer system.
If I am on the waiting list, how long before my problem is fixed?
The program will first help homeowners who have experienced the most sewer backups. From there, it is on a first-come, first-served basis. The schedule for ongoing implementation of the program will depend on available financing and the level of interest by affected property owners.
How do I participate in the B2P2?
The 3-step application process requires the homeowner to: first apply, second; obtain a quote from a contractor; third; request reimbursement following installation and inspection. To apply for the Basement Backup Prevention Program during the pilot period please fill out and submit the City of Lansing Basement Backup Prevention Program application.
Who performs the work for the B2P2?
The work typically is performed by a licensed plumbing contractor. If electrical system improvements are necessary to facilitate the B2P2 solution, a licensed electrical contractor is also needed. If you don’t have a contractor, the City has a list of interested local contractors. Their contact information is available on the website or by emailing or calling the B2P2 staff.
After receiving a copy of the contractor estimate, the B2P2 representative will call you to schedule an inspection and verify that the estimate is complete.
Can a homeowner perform the work?
Yes, the homeowner can also perform the work after securing permits required by the city. Reimbursement of cost through the B2P2 is for materials only.
Where can I find more information on the B2P2?
You can visit www.lansingmi.gov/basements, call the B2P2 Help Line at (517) 853-7867, or email B2P2 staff at Basements@DCEngPC.com.
Who do I call if I have a sewer backup before the problem is fixed?
Report all sewer backups to the City of Lansing at (517) 483-4161.