Flood Damage

Public Act 222

History and Purpose of Public Act 222

In 2001, the Michigan Legislature passed Public Act (PA) 222, which creates an exception to the protections afforded to a governmental agency against liability arising from damages caused due to a “Sewage Disposal System Event”.

This act requires that if you are seeking compensation for personal injury or property damage, you must show that the county drain system had a defect; that an appropriate government agency knew, or reasonably should have known, about the defect; that the defect was not remedied by the government agency in a reasonable time; that the property damage or personal injury resulted because of the defect; and that you own and have related the value of the damaged personal property.


"Affected property" is the real property affected by a sewage disposal system event. 

"Appropriate government agency" means a governmental agency that, at the time of a sewage disposal system event, owned or operated, or directly or indirectly discharged into, the portion of the sewage disposal system that allegedly caused damage or physical injury. 

"Service lead" means an instrumentality that connects an affected property, including a structure, fixture, or improvement on the property to the sewage disposal system and that is neither owned nor maintained by a government agency. 

"Sewage Disposal System" is all interceptor sewers, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, combined sanitary and storm scepter sewers, sewage treatment plans, and all other plants, works, instrumentalities, and properties used or useful in connection with the collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage and industrial wastes, and includes a stormwater drain system under the jurisdiction and control of a government agency.

"Sewage Disposal System Event" is defined as the overflow or backup of a sewage disposal system onto real property. An overflow or backup is not a sewage disposal system event if any of the following was a substantial proximate cause of the overflow or backup:

  • Obstruction in a service lead not caused by a government agency.
  • Sump system, building drain, surface drain, gutter, or downspout connected to the sewage disposal system.
  • Act of war or terrorism

Notice Requirements

If you experience a “sewage disposal system event” you, must file a claim in writing to the government within 45 days of your discovery of an event.  The claim must include:

  • Your name, address, and phone number, address of the affected property
  •  Date of discovery of any property damages or physical injuries
  •  A brief description of the claim

Please note that failure to file a written claim within 45 days may waive your right to further action.

Claim Requirements

A claimant may seek compensation for property damage or personal injury by showing all of the following existed at the time of the event.

  • The government agency was an appropriate government agency.
  • The sewage disposal system had a defect
  • The government agency knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known about the defect.
  • The government agency, having the legal authority to do so, failed to take reasonable steps to remedy the defect in a reasonable time.
  • The defect was a substantial proximate cause of the event and the property damage or physical injury.


Recovery is limited to economic damages caused by an event unless there is a claim for death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement.

If any damaged property is personal property, the claimant must show reasonable proof of ownership and value of the damaged property.  Proof may include testimony, records of purchase, price, value, or photographic or similar evidence of value.

Notify Us

If you experience a "Sewage Disposal System Event" please contact us to file your claim by completing the claim notice and submitting it to our office via email at [email protected] or by mail at 705 N Zeeb Rd. Ann Arbor MI 48103. 


Helpful Links

Claim Notice

Place an online service request

Act 222 Brochure

Full PA 222