Skip to main content

Basement Backup Protection Program

Providing free plumbing upgrades to homeowners who experience water backing up through basement fixtures during wet weather.


The Basement Backup Protection Program (BBPP) helps prevent home flooding by providing:

  • Free backwater valve installation to reduce backups.
  • Free downspout modifications, if needed.

Backwater valves let wastewater out of your home, but close to prevent water from coming back through your pipes.

Downspout modifications may also be needed if the water from your roof’s gutter is flowing back into your home through your sewer pipe.

Licensed contractors perform installations, and the work has a one-year warranty. Residents are responsible for repairs or maintenance after the warranty expires.


1101 Market St.
6th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Process and eligibility

To be eligible for this program, your property’s water bill must be current. If you are behind on your bill, you can still qualify by paying in full or entering a payment agreement. You must address any violations issued by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) or other City agencies before you can participate.

Document the flooding.

If you think water is currently backing up into your basement, immediately call the PWD hotline at (215) 685-6300.

If possible, use your phone to shoot video or pictures while the flooding is taking place. Share these with the PWD inspector assigned by our contact center.

Complete and submit the application form.

Complete the Basement Backup Protection Program application. You can mail the form to the address provided or email it to

PWD will inspect your property and provide a proposal for the scope of work.

Contractors must be able to access the plumbing where the backwater valve will be installed.

The pipe connecting your home to the sewer must be in good condition. If the pipe is broken or leaking, you can apply to have it fixed with a zero-interest loan through the Homeowner Emergency Loan Program (HELP) or hire a plumber on your own. A backflow device can be installed as part of this work.

You will sign an agreement with PWD.

PWD will pay for all work related to the installation. You will be responsible for ongoing maintenance after the one-year warranty expires.

Licensed contractors will complete the work at no charge to you.

PWD will provide care instructions. Devices are typically low-maintenance.

Apply for the program now.

Use this application form to apply for the Basement Backup Protection Program.

Related programs