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Prospective applicants with questions about the City of East Lansing's application process for the Property Owner Assistance Program for Basement Backup Protection can contact the East Lansing Department of Public Works at (517) 337-9459 ext. 0. For questions related to plumbing permits/inspections, applicants can call the City of East Lansing's Building Division at (517) 319-6871 or (517) 319-6810.
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This program was developed to assist East Lansing property owners with the professional installation of a backflow prevention valve or equivalent private infrastructure to reduce the potential for sewer backups into basements utilizing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
This program is open to all property owners with property within East Lansing’s city limits.
The City will reimburse 100 percent of the first $1,000 of the eligible cost and 75 percent of the eligible cost exceeding $1,000, up to a total reimbursement of $3,000. The property owner will be responsible for all remaining costs.
Prior to applying for a reimbursement, the property owner will need to hire a licensed plumber/contractor to perform the work and the plumber/contractor will need to obtain a plumbing permit from the City of East Lansing's Building Division. Once the installation is completed, it will also need to be inspected by the City's Building Division prior to submittal of the program application. Eligible property owners will need to include the following required attachments with their application: an itemized project invoice from the licensed contractor/plumber, proof of payment by the property owner, a copy of the plumbing permit issued by the City and proof of an approved final inspection by the City. This program is also being offered retroactively to property owners who have already hired a licensed plumber/contractor to have this work done, as long as the work was completed on or after March 3, 2021 and meets all eligibility and application requirements.
Depending on the property’s layout and issues, there are various different approaches that may be available to protect the basement. If the flooding issue is caused by water that seeps through the basement walls, windows or floors during heavy rains, installation of a backflow prevention valve will not help with that problem as it is not related to the City’s sanitary sewer system. Property owners are encouraged to talk with a licensed plumber to determine the best approach for their property.
A backflow prevention valve will prevent backups caused by defects of your private service pipe, but it only addresses the backup and not the actual problem. Therefore, it is not the best solution. For the best solution, it is important to discuss the issue with your licensed plumber since these problems tend to worsen over time.
While these improvements greatly reduce the chance of a backup in your basement, no solution is completely fail-safe. Mechanical equipment can fail, but ongoing maintenance will help prevent this.
Yes, the property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the device installed.
Yes. In addition to being available to East Lansing homeowners, the program is available to East Lansing property owners who own rental property or businesses. The actual property owner for the rental property or business must apply for the program, and the program is limited to one total payment of $3,000 per property owner and per property.
A fillable PDF application is available at www.cityofeastlansing.com/BackupProtectionProgram and printed copies of the application are available at East Lansing City Hall, 410 Abbot Road, and the East Lansing Department of Public Works, 1800 E. State Road. Instructions for how to submit the application and all required attachments can be found on the application.
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.