Are you flooded or are you worried about being flooded?
The first thing you need to try to understand is where the flooding is coming from. See our page about sewer responsibilities to see whether where it is coming from, is something you’ll need to arrange to have fixed yourself, or if we will need to come out.
Guidance on how to diagnose a public sewer flooding incident
If you are experiencing a sewer flooding incident, we want to offer you the best possible help and advice. In order to do this, and respond to your problem in the most efficient manner, we need to correctly assess whether the problem is in fact our responsibility. There are six types of flooding:
Public sewer flooding
If the problem arises in the public sewerage system then it is our responsibility to arrange clean up and remedial work. If the following is true of your problem, it is likely to be our responsibility:
You and a number of other properties are experiencing sewer flooding.
There is foul debris in the flooding (i.e. sanitary products, toilet paper).
The flooding is obviously coming from a public manhole.
If your home or property is flooded from a public sewer, please telephone our sewer flooding line on 0800 328 0483.
If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer flooding from a public sewer you may be entitled to a payment under our Guaranteed Service Standards scheme.
Private sewer flooding
If the problem arises in your private sewer or drain then it is the homeowners’ responsibility to arrange remedial work. Responsibility for private pipes extends to the point of connection to the public sewer. This often means that the pipe runs under the public highway. If the following is true of your problem, it is likely to be your responsibility:
Your property is the only property experiencing sewer flooding.
You don’t share drainage with any other property.
There is no other flooding in the local area.
Highway Authority flooding
If the problem arises from a drain or gully in the highway, and there is no foul debris in the flooding, then it is the responsibility of the Highways Authority to arrange remedial work.
For help and advice following a Highway Authority flooding incident, please go here and follow the link to your local council.
If the problem arises from a river or stream, and there is no foul debris in the flooding, this is a natural occurrence and you may wish to inform the Environment Agency.
If you experience water in an internal cellar, it could be either a public sewer flooding incident or simply groundwater seepage following a heavy rainfall event. If there is no foul debris in the flooding (i.e. sanitary products, toilet paper) it is unlikely to be a public sewer flooding incident. In this circumstance remedial work is your responsibility.
Fields often become waterlogged after heavy rainfall or because of inadequate drainage. In both cases, responsibility for the issue normally lies with the landowner. However, the fields may also be part of a floodplain that is there to prevent flooding elsewhere.
In the first instance, you should contact the landowner to establish who is responsible.
If your home or property is flooded internally, please contact your household insurance as soon as possible (failure to notify insurers will jeopardise any future claims). Your insurance will arrange clean up, disinfectant and replacement of any damaged property. If you do not have household insurance please contact us once the flooding has subsided and we will arrange clean up and disinfection with your permission.
If you find it difficult to flush your toilet or notice that water drains away very slowly or bubbles in the bottom of your toilet, you may be experiencing restricted toilet use. In these circumstances contact us straight away and clearly explain the symptoms. Under no circumstances should you try to flush your toilet again as this could cause internal flooding.