Flooding and Drainage

When flooding happens, we need to make sure the water is cleared quickly and effectively from roads and pavements.

This can be helped by maintaining the road drainage systems that are intended to remove water efficiently from the road surface. When this is not enough, we will take further measures to make sure roads stay open and safe.

Blocked gullies and general road flooding are our responsibility, rivers fall under the jurisdiction of the Environment Agency. The environment agency has a 24-hour Floodline advice and information service is provided for floods and flood warnings.

Roadside ditches and private sewers or drains are the responsibility of the landowner. The local water authority is responsible for public sewers and burst water mains, while the council will take responsibility for car parks and amenity areas. An overflowing manhole is our responsibility, possibly in conjunction with the local water authority.   

During winter, all water or sewer leaks must be reported to us so that we can carry out winter maintenance.  

Report a flooding or drainage issue

If this issue is causing an immediate danger to the safety of road users, or poses a risk of internal flooding to a property, it is classed as an emergency. You could contact us by telephone to report an emergency on 01572 722 577 (during offices hours and outside of office hours)"

If you would like to report online please use our FixMyStreet Service

Requesting new or additional drainage

You can make a request for new or additional drainage by contacting us using our online form.

It is illegal to discharge drainage directly on to the highway or to connect private drainage into any highway drainage system. If you intend to carry out any alterations to drainage, or make changes in land use which might result in surface water discharging on to the highway, or increased flows in highway drainage, you must consult us.

Further information

Many roads have drainage systems which are inspected and maintained on a regular basis and are cleared or repaired depending on the:

  • Type of road (classified or unclassified)
  • Importance of the drain to preventing the road or properties from being flooded or ice forming on the road in winter
  • Available funding

Maintenance of roadside gullies

Keeping gullies clean and fully operational is the responsibility of the county council. Blocked and damaged roadside drains, known as gullies, can cause a hazard to highway users, particularly during periods of heavy rain.

Our approach to highway flooding is one of both proactive and reactive maintenance:

  • Highway gullies are programmed for scheduled cleaning and their proper functioning checked. This cleaning can also involve water pressure jetting to clear associated pipework       
  • Gullies reported as blocked throughout the year will be logged and left until the normal scheduled visit unless they are causing a health and safety issue
  • Gullies reported with missing/broken grates will be added to our programme for maintenance of non-urgent works unless they are causing a danger to the public, in such cases they will be dealt with as soon as practicable
  • We maintain a database of reported trouble spots where problems reported either by members of the public or by council operatives are kept. These problems are prioritised in accordance with a standard procedure until investigative and remedial works are able to be carried out when maintenance budgets permit

It must be remembered that problems can occur even when drainage provisions are clean and well maintained, for example as a result of:

  • Exceptional rainfall
  • A road being in a low lying area
  • Changes in 'run off' from adjoining land
  • Rivers overflowing
  • Material carried into drains by floods

See the flooding advice page for advice about protecting your property from flooding.

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