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We are a lead local flood authority so we lead on the management of local flood risks including:

  • flooding from surface water
  • flooding from groundwater
  • flooding from ordinary watercourses

Our role involves working closely with partners involved in flood and water management.

Flooding is a natural event and no drainage or flood protection system can provide absolute protection. Flooding can occur in a number of ways, not just as a result of rivers and streams filling beyond their capacity during heavy rainfall and spreading to the surrounding land.

The Environment Agency is the principal body responsible for dealing with flooding from main rivers and the sea. As a lead local flood authority, we will investigate flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses. The nature and extent of any investigations will be dependent upon the severity, sensitivity and potential impact of the flooding.

Flood risk responsibilities

We are responsible for the following.

  • Development of a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for managing surface run-off, groundwater and ordinary watercourses throughout the borough
  • Recording flood assets and identifying those responsible for them
  • Investigating and publishing reports on significant floods
  • Ensuring that new developments drain in a manner which does not increase flood risk elsewhere, as well as trying to reduce the risk of flooding wherever possible
  • The power to request information regarding flooding from any organisation or person
  • The power to commission works to prevent surface water run-off and groundwater flooding
  • Consent and enforcement in relation to works affecting ordinary watercourses

We are not responsible for protecting householder's private property from flooding and we do not provide sand bags for private use.

We and our contractors will provide assistance during flooding incidents and when flood risk is high, but resources are limited and have to be prioritised.

There is no guarantee that we can visit all at risk locations before flooding occurs.

More information

Detailed information is available to download in our Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Also see our Flood Risk Regulations page.