Responding to Street & Basement Flooding

Flooded Streets


During extremely heavy downpours, the main barrels or trunk lines become filled to capacity, thus causing a back-up. Fortunately, these types of rainfalls are normally few and far between. If you experience a flooded street during working hours (Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.) please contact Public Service at 248-246-3300, and we will dispatch a worker. As always, residents can assist the City by removing debris from the top of the catch basin. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Flooded Basements


The City of Royal Oak is a member of the Twelve Town Drainage Enhancement Program. This program is designed to substantially decrease the potential of flooded basements, but sometimes basement flooding can occur.

Why Does It Occur?


There are several reasons that you may experience basement water. Basement water usually occurs during or shortly thereafter a rainfall. Tree roots, disposable diapers, grease and other materials are key contributors to obstructing the flow of sewers. When these obstructions take place in your own sewer service, they prevent not only the water that is used internally throughout the household from flowing to the City's main sewer, but also prevents the water that has built up below your basement floor and around the basement walls from flowing freely to the main sewer as well. The water will then try to equalize the pressure and seek its own level by coming through the cracks in the walls, cracks in the floor, the floor/wall seam, and most commonly, up through the floor drains.

Responding to Flooding


When you start to experience any of these signs, we recommend that you contact the Department of Public Service immediately during regular working hours (Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.) at 248-246-3300, and the Police Department anytime thereafter at 248-246-3500. The Police Department will contact a Sewer Department Representative to respond to your emergency. It is important to our department that we are notified and are able to investigate the problem at the time the event is taking place. If the problem exists in the main sewer line, a crew will be dispatched immediately to clear the line, and return during regular working hours to thoroughly clean the line. If the problem is determined to be in the property owner's sewer service line, the owner will be advised by the sewer representative that the problem is in the property owner's line and they may want to contact either a plumber or a sewer cleaning company to clear the line.

Cleaning Up After


The Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority Department of Public Works Advisory Committee has drafted procedures on cleaning and sanitizing after you have experienced a flood or sewage in your basement. View these procedures in our Cleaning Up the Mess After Basement Flooding section.