Your questions about flooding

What you need to know – what you need to do

Who is responsible for damage caused by flooding from public sewers?

Unfortunately, we can't control what goes into the sewer system or how much rain falls (both of which could cause blockages and flooding). This means we actually 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. However, where flooding occurs, we will determine who is responsible and what action should be taken.

I've spotted flooding on a road or footpath, who do I contact?

If you see water flooding into the road and it appears to coming from a grid in the street, it is likely that there is a problem with the public sewer. We will send someone out to investigate this.

However if rainwater cannot drain away into a grid in the street (for example, blocked with leaves) please call your local council to report this.

Who should I contact regarding damage 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. Reimbursement is usually provided whether or not anyone is to blame.

What should I do if my property is flooded?

If your property is flooded with sewage, you should take the following precautions to protect you and your family:


  • Give your insurance company or landlord a call straightaway
  • Wash your hands after being in contact with flood water
  • Wash clothing and fabrics thoroughly 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.
Season Turf/clay (days) Soil/sand (days)
 Spring  13 20 
 Summer  6  9
 Autumn  13  20
 Winter  18  11


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