External sewage flooding around homes illustration

Flooding can be an awful and very upsetting experience. We work very hard to stop any flooding from our sewers, but for various reasons flooding does sometimes happen.  

We help explain our responsibilities below but in some circumstances another organisation may be responsible for dealing with the flooding, such as Highways who are responsible for road drains. 

The information below will help direct you to the appropriate contact for the flooding you’re experiencing. It will also help you find your Lead Local Flood Authority. 


Lead Local Flood Authorities
The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 made County Councils and Unitary Authorities the Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) for their area. They are responsible for preparing and maintaining a plan for dealing with the risks of flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.

They do this in consultation with all the agencies and organisations listed below together with members of the public.

They are also required to investigate any significant flooding incidents and publish the results. Use the links in the map below for information relating to LLFAs in your area.

Bedford Borough Council Buckinghamshire County Council Cambridgeshire County Council Central Bedfordshire Council Essex County Council Hertfordshire County Council Leicestershire County Council Lincolnshire County Council London Borough of Havering Luton Borough Council Milton Keynes Council Norfolk County Council North East Lincolnshire Council North Lincolnshire Council Northamptonshire County Council Nottinghamshire County Council Oxfordshire County Council Peterborough City Council Rutland County Council Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Suffolk County Council Thurrock Council

Sewer flooding can also happen for a number of reasons beyond our control

Pipes can become blocked, especially when people put things like cooking fats, wipes and other items down the drain when they should be placed in the bin.

Extreme weather, including periods of intense rainfall, prolonged periods of rain or snow melt, can sometimes overwhelm sewers, as they are unable to carry the extra water away quickly enough.

At times of flood, river banks may burst, rising river levels can stop sewer outflows from working properly and flood water can get into the sewers from other sources.

All of this can push sewage back up the pipes and cause them to surcharge. In these circumstances we are not liable for any problems caused by the flooding, though we can offer some limited help to clean-up.

Find out what help you can expect from us during a flooding incident on our sewage flooding page. 


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