Drains and gullies

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:

The water company owns and manages the network of public foul and surface water sewers. The majority of public sewers are in the highway. In North Lincolnshire this will be either Severn Trent or Anglian Water. You will need to contact the company you pay your sewerage bill to. To report a overflowing public sewer please contact either:

If your private drains or sewers are overflowing you will need to contact a drainage contractor yourself to deal with any blockages. See Yellow Pages under “drain and pipe cleaning”.

If you’re not sure if a blockage is in the public or private sewers, the water company should be able to determine this once on site, and then recharge you the cost of any work on the private sewers.

For flooding from the public highway or reporting blocked gullies or gratings, please contact our Highway Maintenance team, or use our online form:

The local water companies are Severn Trent and Anglian Water. They are responsible for the water supply up to and including the water stopcock for your property. To report a burst water main contact either:

This is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord and would need the attention of a plumber (see Yellow Pages or similar directories).

Main rivers are the responsibility of the Environment Agency. Call them on 0845 933 3111.

The Agency also provides a Floodline, a 24 hour advice and information service for floods and flood warnings on 0845 988 1188.