What causes flooding?
There are many causes of flooding. Weather plays a big part – heavy torrential downpours in localised areas can overwhelm the sewer network and cause sewage to flow back onto the street and into homes and gardens. It can also cause rivers to burst their banks and roads to flood. Sewers collapsing or becoming blocked due to a build-up of items that shouldn’t be flushed into the sewer network (such as baby wipes, fats, grease, etc) can also lead to flooding.
Who is responsible for damage caused by flooding from public sewers?
We understand that if you’ve been flooded it can be an anxious time. Where flooding occurs, we’ll be on hand to help, provide advice, determine the cause and what action needs to be taken. Unfortunately, we can’t control what goes into the sewer system or how much rain falls (both of which can lead to blockages and flooding). We have no legal liability for damage caused by flooding from public sewers, except where it can be shown that we’ve been negligent. In addition, we’re not liable for private sewers or drains – or for flooding that arises from them. Take a look at sewers and drains explained to find out what you are responsible for.
I've spotted flooding on a road or footpath, who do I contact?
If rainwater cannot drain away into a grid in the street (for example, it is blocked with leaves) please call your local council to report this.
However, if you see water flooding into the road and it appears to be coming from a grid in the street and has sewage in it, it is likely there is a problem with the public sewer. We will send someone out to investigate this when you call.
Who should I contact regarding damage to my home and contents caused by flooding from public sewers?
We suggest you contact your own insurers first of all. Household insurance covers fire, flooding or any insurable risk leading to loss or damage to property or contents. Reimbursment is usually provided whether or not anyone is to blame.
Am I entitled to compensation for sewer flooding?
If you suffer from internal or external flooding due to our sewers overflowing, please call us straight away so we can send a team to investigate the cause and help with the clean-up. As part of our standards of service scheme, we pay compensation for sewer flooding incidences. Full details of compensation payments for sewer flooding are shown in our standards of service document.
What should I do if my property is flooded?
If your property is flooded with sewage, please call us straight away on 0345 672 3723. You should also take the following precautions to protect you and your family:
- Give your insurance company or landlord a call straight away
- Wash your hands after being in contact with flood water
- Wash clothing and fabrics through to destroy any harmful bugs
- Dry all affected areas thoroughly. Inside your property, use heating and good ventilation, as this will help with the drying process
- Keep open cuts or sores clean and covered up at all times
- Let children play in flood water or grassed/paved areas until those areas have been thoroughly cleaned
- Try to clean waterlogged garden areas or dig over contaminated soil; leave the sewage residue to decay naturally. As a guide to the number of days you should leave your garden before cleaning up, please see the table below.