Reporting flooding

Road flooding

You can report road flooding and drainage problems to us.

Report road flooding

Road flooding

Roads have features which are designed to take surface water that runs off from the public highway, for example, gullies, channels and ditches. Exceptional rainfall, water running off adjacent land or rising river levels can cause roads to flood even when the drainage is in good working order.


Gullies are scheduled to be cleaned out once a year or more frequently if the need arises.

Highway drainage

Drainage problems on roads are identified by regular inspections of the network or as a result of specific enquiries from the members of the public, council members or the emergency services.

Drainage ditches

Drainage ditches adjoining private lands are usually the responsibility of the land owner to maintain. Under their riparian responsibilities owners should make sure that ditches and watercourses are properly maintained in order to reduce the risk of flooding.

The council, as the Highway Authority, can drain the highway into adjoining ditches. However, the riparian owner is responsible for maintaining these ditches.

Sewer flooding

Public sewers

You can report flooding from public sewers online at the Thames Water website.

Thames Water owns and manages the network of public foul and surface water sewers. The majority of public sewers are located in highways. You can view highway drainage plans and limited sewer plans at Time Square.

Flooding from sewers is due either to an obstruction which restricts the flow or when capacity of the sewer is exceeded. If the capacity is exceeded then water can flow out of the manhole and drain covers. Flood water from any source can be hazardous.

Private sewers

Thames Water Utilities is responsible for the maintenance of sewers and lateral drains that connect to a public foul or surface water sewer system in the borough. More information about responsibility for private sewers and lateral drains can be found on Thames Water's website.

Blockages within your property boundary

The responsibility for the removal of blockages in drains within the property boundary stays the responsibility of the householder (a drain being a pipe that serves a single property).

If there is a problem with a sewer or drain at your property it is important to establish whether the problem is likely to be:

  • in the sewer - if so it's the responsibility of Thames Water or
  • in the drain or internal plumbing - if so it's the responsibility of the householder

Watercourse flooding

River flooding

Main rivers are the responsibility of the Environment Agency:

Other watercourses

Watercourses, other than main rivers, are the responsibility of riparian owners. You are a riparian owner if your property or land is on, or very near, a watercourse.

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.

For more information about the responsibilities of a riparian owner, see our land drainage and responsibilities page.

Surface water flooding

This is flooding caused by the existing drainage network being overloaded, either by heavy rain or by blockages in the system. This causes water to run across and create ponds on the land or roads. You can check the long term flood risk for an are in England on GOV.UK

It is very difficult to predict this type of flooding. The extent of the flooding depends on the duration and intensity of rainfall. Most of it is short-lived and is known as flash flooding.

Flooding can also occur when land is saturated and is not able to absorb any more rainfall.

Landowners are responsible for dealing with storm flood water on their land. Landowners must accept storm flood water run-off onto their land if it is due to the natural profile of any adjoining land. They may install measures to protect their land and property but must not divert storm flood water in such a way that it could cause flooding to adjoining land or property.

If flooding is affecting roads you can report this by completing our online form.

In an emergency situation, call 999.

Burst water mains

You can report a burst water main to the supply company who provides your mains water. Water companies are responsible for their supply up to and including the water stopcock.

Supply companies who supply the Bracknell Forest area are:

Thames Water is responsible for dealing with foul and surface water sewers and drainage only.