Baltimore will now pay up to $2,500 toward cleanup costs associated with some basement sewage backups.
The city launched the reimbursement program last month under a federally supervised program to modernize its aged, leaky sewer system.
Only sewage backups caused by heavy rain are eligible for the program, and the backups must be reported within 24 hours. Claims for reimbursement of cleanup costs must be submitted to the city within 90 days of the incident.
While clogs are often caused because residents improperly flush wipes down the toilet or pour grease into their drains, the city agreed last year to help residents deal with the costs of cleaning up rain-related sewage backups.
Advocates had pushed for the city to do more to help people dealing with backups, because they stem in large part from lack of repairs to the sewage system and from city efforts to reduce contamination in waterways.
Baltimore’s sewers are supposed to be a closed system, but cracks and breaks in sometimes century-old pipes allow them to be inundated with stormwater.