Types of flooding

Flooding from public sewers

Thames Water own and manage the network of public foul and surface water sewers. 

To report an overflowing public sewer please contact Thames Water:

  • Tel 0800 316 9800

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Flooding from private sewers or drains

If your private drains or sewers are overflowing you will need a private drainage contractor to deal with any blockage.

Contact your landlord or search the Internet for keywords such as drain and pipe cleaning, private sewers, drainage to find a contractor near you.

If you are uncertain if any blockage is in the public or private sewers, Thames Water should be able to determine this once on site and then recharge you the cost of any work on the private sewers.

For information on how to report an overflowing private sewer please visit the Thames Water website (external link) or call them on 0800 316 9800.

Check out our internal Report blocked gullies and drains page for further information.

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Flooding from the public highway

For flooding from the public highway or reporting blocked road gullies or gratings, contact us on the details below:

  • Frontline Services Business Support team:
    Telephone 020 8489 1335
    Opening times:
    • Monday - 9am to 5pm
    • Tuesday - 9am to 5pm 
    • Wednesday - 10am to 5pm 
    • Thursday - 9am to 5pm 
    • Friday - 9am to 5pm 
  • Emergency Office:
    Telephone 020 8489 0000 (out of office hours)

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Flooding from a burst water main

Thames Water is responsible for their supply up to and including the water stopcock.

To report a burst water main, please contact Thames Water:

0800 316 9800

Report a leak - Thames Water website (external link)

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Flooding from a water service pipe

This is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord and would need the attention of a plumber.

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Flooding from main rivers

Main rivers are the responsibility of the Environment Agency:

  • Incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60 (24-hour service)

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Flooding from watercourses

Watercourses, other than main rivers, are the responsibility of riparian owners.

A riparian owner is:

  • anyone who owns a property where there is a water course within or adjacent to the boundaries of their property and a watercourse includes a river, stream or ditch. 
  • anyone responsible for watercourses or culverted watercourses passing through their land. Particularly, the culvert running under the public highway will be the responsibility of the council.

Riparian owners have a duty to keep the watercourse clear of any obstruction to flow and we can serve legal notices on riparian owners to deal with obstructions. 

Certain "strategic" watercourses, that are known to pose a high risk of property flooding if they become blocked, are checked and maintained by our contractors on a regular basis.

Guidance for riverside property owners is available on the Environment Agency website (external link).

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Page last updated:

February 2, 2023

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