A very important part of building roads is the drainage system. These are designed to remove water efficiently and effectively from the highway and help provide a safe surface for all vehicles and pedestrians.
Older roads may have less sophisticated drainage but most will have features designed to take water away from the road surface.
These systems need to be cleaned and maintained to make sure they work properly. However, problems can occur even when drains are clean and well maintained.
Roads can flood when the amount of water on them is more than the capacity of the drains to take away. Exceptional rainfall, roads in low lying areas, changes in “run off” from fields and rivers overflowing are some of the situations that can lead to a road flooding even when the drains are working properly.
Materials carried into the drains by floods can lead to them becoming blocked. Drain grills and gratings on gullies can become blocked very quickly by mud on the highway or when there is a heavy fall of leaves in the autumn. If a flooded road is caused by a broken water main the water company is responsible for repairing the damage.
The profile of the road allows water to flow into the drains. Puddles (ponding) tend to form if there is a depression in the road surface. This can be repaired where necessary by local patching of the road surface.
The following gives guidance on who to contact for various types of flooding.