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Floods and water

Ordinary watercourse maintenance and land drainage

Ordinary watercourses are channels water can flow through that are not part of the main river networks - for example streams, drains, open ditches, culverts and surface water sewers.

Who's responsible for ordinary watercourses?

We are not responsible for maintenance or improvement works.

If you own the land next to an ordinary watercourse, in most cases you are responsible for making sure the section of watercourse on your land is kept clear of blockages and any structures have no sign of collapse throughout the year.

We have powers to enforce landowners to maintain their section of an ordinary watercourse under the Land Drainage Act 1991.

Ordinary watercourse works

You must get written consent from us before you carry out culverting or works that may affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse.

If you build an obstruction or structure without the right consents, we may serve you notice under Section 25 of Land Drainage Act 1991 for the obstruction to be removed.

To get written consent, complete the Land Drainage Consent Form - there is a £50 charge per structure / application.

Drainage - link document - Land Drainage Consent Application Form

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