Project Dry Basement

Project-Dry-Basement-Logo.jpg Our sewer backflow prevention program, known as Project Dry Basement, began in July, 2004. This program will cover the cost of an approved backflow prevention device for single and two-family homes in Columbus that have experienced sewer backups from surcharging of the public sewer system during wet weather or blockages.

After reporting the basement backup (must be reported to the 24-hour Sewer Maintenance Operations Center at 614-645-7102*), if your property is verified to be eligible, you will receive an application in the mail. For information about the program, please view the Project Dry Basement fact sheet(PDF, 185KB). *If you would like to file an online report to see if you qualify for a backflow prevention device, please apply here Wet Basement and Neighborhood Flooding Questionnaire.

Stormwater Capital Improvement Projects are developed to solve neighborhood surface flooding problems. Please report any street flooding to the Sewer Maintenance Operations Center by calling 311 or 614-645-3111. If the crew cannot find a blockage or issue they can address, please complete and submit a Wet Basement and Neighborhood Flooding Questionnaire for capital improvement project consideration.

Backflow Prevention Device Maintenance Information

Once installed in your home, the device must be maintained to ensure it remains in proper working condition. Please follow these maintenance instructions:

Manufacturer recommends once a year the homeowner manually open and close the valve three (3) or four (4) times to exercise the bellows in the valve housing. This is accomplished by inserting the maintenance T-handle through the hole located in the center of the top of the valve cover and attaching to the threaded stem located on the top of the counterweight top. Once attached, pull the handle up slowly until it stops. Release the handle and allow it to return to the original position. Repeat this action for three (3) or four (4) cycles.

The manufacturer of the backflow valve advises periodic inspection and cleaning (monthly is suggested) of their product. Please follow these instructions:

  • Remove the lid cover from the pit.
  • Unscrew the four inch round clean-out plug on the top of the valve box and do a visual inspection.
  • Shine a flashlight or trouble light into the hole to see the valve body.
  • Inspect for debris build-up on the body, gate and beneath the gate.
  • If debris build-up is found, flush clean with a water hose and sprayer.
  • Ensure gate freely moves up and down.
  • Reinstall clean-out plug (do not over tighten) and pit lid cover.

Following the above instructions for your particular backflow prevention device will help to ensure that your backwater valve is in proper working condition to protect you from sanitary sewer backups.

For questions about the Project Dry Basement program, please read the fact sheet above, call 614-645-8404 or email your question to