What causes flooding?

Flooding is caused by the run-off of water from land, property or highway during heavy rain, or occasionally by public sewers or drains overflowing when they are overwhelmed by very heavy rainfall.

Areas potentially at risk from flooding are shown on the Environment Agency map.

How we manage flood risk

How to report it

Report surface water flooding 

We are responsible for managing the risk of surface water flooding and flooding from minor watercourses. The duties include:

  • investigating where land that is not normally covered in water becomes covered in water (including any significant flood incidents caused by rainfall)
  • to implement land use planning and work with communities to avoid inappropriate development in areas of flood risk
  • to warn and advise the public during emergencies and manage flood recovery
  • to provide and manage highway drainage and roadside ditches

If you want to undertake any works in a watercourse, or are aware of such works being undertaken, please check our guidance on Land Drainage Consent.

How to report other flooding

Flooding from a main river should be reported to the Environment Agency on 0845 988 1188.

Sewer Flooding can be reported to United Utilities on 0845 7462200.