Investigating incidents of flooding

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Since 2007 we have been working with our partners, through the Local Flood Risk and Drainage Management groups, to investigate and resolve flooding incidents where we can. Whilst our operational role is limited to surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses we have a further duty under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act to investigate flooding from any source. This includes rivers and sewers which are managed by other agencies such as the Environment Agency, internal drainage board or water company (Severn Trent or Anglian Water ). This is to ensure a coordinated public response.


From April 2012 the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 required that:

On becoming aware of a flood in its area, a lead local flood authority must, to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate investigate:

  •  which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions
  • whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised, or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood


Where any authority carries out an investigation it must:

  •  publish the results of its investigation
  •  notify any relevant risk management authorities


As lead local flood authority we will continue this role, in respect of considering the necessity or appropriateness of investigations. Investigations are often complex. They involve a significant amount of time and resources.  We will carefully consider the following criteria before embarking on an investigation:

  • Significant risk to life or health
  • Number of residential or commercial properties affected
  • Number or extent of critical infrastructure affected
  • Key transport infrastructure affected
  • Significant disruption to commercial and business activities
  • Reoccurrence of incidents
  • The cause is unknown or unclear


We as Lead Local Flood Authority have carried out the following flood investigations: