Flooding and drainage
Advice and information about flooding and drainage.
Please also visit our flood guide for information about how to deal with potential emergencies that may occur due to flooding.
Report property flooding
December 2020 Flooding
The flooding that followed the severe weather during the 23rd and 24th December 2020 was some of the worst to hit Gloucestershire since 2007. Read our summary report here: December 2020 Flooding Summary.
What we do
As a Lead Local Flood Authority, under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Gloucestershire County Council has responsibilities for
- investigating and reporting flooding incidents
- managing flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses (i.e. non main rivers)
- producing a local flood risk management strategy
- consenting works on ordinary water courses
- enforcing works to maintain the flow on ordinary water courses
Statutory consultations and planning applications on surface water flood risk
Gloucestershire County Council since April 15th 2015 were made a statutory consultee on all major planning applications - more information, guidance and advice.
Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS)
Under 2010 legislation GCC has new responsibilities as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA). This means we have a leadership and coordinating role for flood risk across the county from surface water runoff, ordinary watercourses and groundwater. In addition GCC has a responsibility for managing flood risk from the highway network and planning for emergencies. Under the same legislation GCC has produced and published Gloucestershire's Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS). For the full strategy document please visit Gloucestershire County Council's Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS).
Section 19 Investigations
Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Gloucestershire County Council must investigate flooding incidents (to the extent it considers necessary and appropriate) to identify:
(a) which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions, and
(b) whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised, or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood.
The results of this investigation must be published and any risk management authority notified.
The criteria for investigating a flooding incident, defined in the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, is: five or more properties flooded internally; two or more non-residential properties flooded; one or more critical services (e.g. hospital) flooded; there are health and safety concerns (e.g. environmental health or risk to life), and/or a transport link is totally impassable for a significant period.
We work together with many other risk management authorities to manage flood risk from all sources. These include:
- Environment Agency - Flood GuidanceOpens new window- responsible for main rivers & reservoirs
- Gloucestershire Roads - responsible for gully clearance and highway drainage
- District Councils, responsible for their own flood defences
- Lower Severn Internal Drainage BoardOpens new window- responsible for land drainage within its area
- Water companies, responsible for drinking water and the public sewer network
If there is a flood
Report current or recent flooding to your property - This is not an emergency response but the information will be used to aid future investigations into the cause of flooding.
Report flooding or standing water on the highway with our online service or call 08000 514 514 in an emergency.
Visit the Emergency Services webpage to find contact details and other advice services.
Your Essential Flood Guide - information, news and forward planning contains information on staying safe, emergency contacts, what to do in the aftermath of flooding, how to prepare for a flood, help available and other useful advice.
Advice to businesses gives hygiene and safety advice for businesses, to prepare for and in the event of a flood.
Check flood risk areas
To see the current flood warnings, a 5-day flood risk forecast, check river levels or to see whether your property or business is in an area at risk of flooding, visit the Environment Agency's Flood Information Service. You can also sign up to their free flood alerts.
Flood Re is a joint initiative between the Insurance Industry and the Government that was introduced in April 2016 and aims to bring more affordable insurance to those who suffer from or are at risk of flooding. For more information on Flood Re and to find out how to determine whether your property or business qualifies then visit the Flood Re website on http://www.floodre.co.uk/. Other general advice on flooding insurance can be found at the Association of British Insurers website.
If you have a watercourse on your land
If you live next to a watercourse and own at least one of the banks you are a 'riparian owner'. You have a responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of that watercourse to ensure that it is not a flood risk to other people or property. The leaflet Waterside Living in Gloucestershire explains further.
If you are planning to build anything that may affect the flow of water in a watercourse you may need consent. More details may be found on our Land drainage consent webpage.
Want to know more?
Links to further help and advice
- Flood Guide (updated for 2020)
- Coping with the aftermath of a Major Incident
- Flood advice from Public Health England
- Floods how to clean up your home safely
- Guidance for after a flood
- Help with mental health issues after a flood
- Food safety advice during flooding
- Insurance advice
- Advice on clean up and repairs after flooding
- Self help and flood recovery guidance
- Rogue traders