DETROIT (AP) — An investigation into sewage backups in Detroit this summer has found that less than half of the pumps meant to keep the water at bay were operating.

The investigation commissioned by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cites a "lack of available pumps" during the July and August rain storms that damaged hundreds of homes in several neighborhoods, The Detroit News (http://detne.ws/2gNu0gD ) reported.

Department director Gary Brown said he isn't surprised with the report, which notes that the system's inadequacies affected the number of basements that had back-ups. He said the department will settle as much of the $11 million in damage claims from about 800 customers that it can.

"When you have large rain events, you need the pumps to be able to divert the water away from property that could be damaged," he said.

The department decided to settle with as many claims as they can due to the "mitigating circumstances" of the pumps not working properly, said Brown.

Disputes between the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the Great Lakes Water Authority of how the claims will be shared are ongoing.

"We think it should be a shared responsibility. We'll work out who is financially responsible either in the courts or through arbitration," Brown said.

Brown said the DWSD will not let the dispute between the departments and the regional water authority hold up the settlements. The claims are currently being paid by the department.

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/