These articles might answer your enquiry…

Search the knowledge area

Local flood risk management strategy

East Sussex County Council have published their Local Flood Risk Management Strategy which sets out how they plan to manage local flood risk, as required by the government’s Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

Read the strategy below:

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy(opens new window) (Adobe PDF, 2174k)

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy – Technical Appendicies(opens new window) (Adobe PDF, 6177k)

Flooding advice

For flooding advice please contact watercourse.consenting@eastsussex.gov.uk

Get flood warnings

Sign up to get free automated flood warnings by phone, text or email:

You can also sign up by phone – call the Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

How to prepare for flooding

See the GOV.UK website for key information on how to prepare your home and family for flooding.

Home Insurance

If you are considering home insurance for a property which is at risk of flooding, please read the Flood Re Information Leaflet(opens new window) (Adobe PDF, 156k).

If a flood threatens

  • Check if your home insurance policy covers flooding for both buildings and contents.
  • Make a list of important phone numbers.
  • Know how to turn off mains water, gas and electricity.
  • Move important items such as insurance documents and family photographs to safety.

If you think you may have to leave home

Make a ‘flood kit’ of essential items to take if you need to leave your home, including:

  • wind-up or battery-powered radio and torch
  • insurance documents
  • bottled water and non-perishable food
  • warm waterproof clothes.

Information from your local council

East Sussex County Council does not provide sandbags but some district or borough councils may provide them, or you could buy bags and sand from DIY stores and local builders merchants – get details on the Environment Agency website above.

Weather reports

Flood plans

To find out how we will respond to and deal with a flood or reservoir emergency, plus advice to schools, colleges and care homes on how to produce their own flood plan, please go to:

 

Drainage report »
I would like to report a blocked roadside drain

Our drainage systems are not designed to cope with torrential and persistent rainfall.  This means that during extreme weather conditions there maybe localised flooding. The water should go down in time, however, if the drain is still blocked after two hours of no rain please contact us with the specific location of the drain and the full details of the problem.  We will then arrange for the local Highway Steward to inspect and decide on the best course of action.
 
Please note that we do not clean drains which are on unadopted or private roads. You can find out if we are responsible for a certain road by checking on the Adopted Roads Map

REPORT A PROBLEM

I would like to report a blocked sewer or sewage flooding

If an emergency, please dial 999
 
You will need to report a blocked sewer or sewage flooding to your sewerage water provider.
Please call Southern Water - 0330 303 1263
 
If this is causing a problem on the public highway please let us know and we and we will arrange for the local Highway Steward / Duty Officer to attend as they may be able to assist with signage or other related matters.

I would like to report surface water flooding which is affecting a property

IF AN EMERGENCY PLEASE DIAL  999

Sandbags can be purchased from DIY stores and builders merchants.  If the flooding is being caused by blocked roadside gullies or ditches please let us know and we will arrange for the local Highway Steward to inspect.
 
If the flooding is caused by groundwater levels or the water catchment area you are you are situated in, please contact East Sussex County Council's Flood Risk Management Team.  They would like to hear about your situation to help them understand groundwater flood risk across the county. Please call County Hall on 0345 6080190 and ask for the Flood Risk Management Team.
 
We are unable to provide an emergency response to flooding which is not associated with the public highway.

I would like to report pollution in a watercourse

If a watercourse is being polluted, please contact the Environment Agency

Drainage report »

I have a watercourse running through my property

For information about riparian ownership please visit East Sussex County Council.

How do I apply for ordinary watercourse consent?

For information about ordinary watercourse consent please visit East Sussex County Council's website.

How do I report pollution in a watercourse?

If a watercourse is being polluted, please contact the Environment Agency.

Works have been carried out on an ordinary watercourse without consent

If work has been carried out on an Ordinary Watercourse without consent, East Sussex County Council can take action against the person who has undertaken the works to request that the watercourse is restored to its original condition.  Please email the Flood Risk Management Team or call 0345 6080190.

Drainage report »


What is a gully or roadside drain?

A gully or roadside drain is a drainage pit covered by an open metal grating located on the road edge. Its purpose is to drain water from the highway into the sewerage system.

How do you clean a roadside drain?

We use a machine called a Jetter which sucks out silt and debris from the drain.  Once the debris has been removed the machine tests the drain to see if it is working by blasting clean water into the drain.  If the water runs away this means that the drain is clear.  If the water does not run away, we jet high pressure water for 5 metres through the connecting pipes to clear blockages.

How often do you clean the roadside drains?

Roadside drains are inspected and cleaned no less than once every two years.  When carrying out our routine drain cleansing we approach sections of road rather than individual drains, ensuring that the surface water can discharge off the highway.

How do you prioritise drainage repairs?

Each case is looked at individually.  If we know that there is a potentially dangerous drain then we will repair it as a matter of urgency. If major drainage works or further investigations are required the matter will be passed to East Sussex County Council's Asset Management Team for a decision. Any works will be scheduled as per their decision.

How do I report a blocked roadside drain?

Our drainage systems are not designed to cope with torrential and persistent rainfall.  This means that during extreme weather conditions there maybe localised flooding. The water should go down in time, however, if the drain is still blocked after two hours of no rain please contact us with the specific location of the drain and the full details of the problem.  We will then arrange for the local Highway Steward to inspect and decide on the best course of action.

Please note that we do not clean drains which are on un-adopted or private roads.

Why wasn't the roadside drain cleaned?

If there are parked cars blocking the roadside drain when we carry out our routine drain cleaning we will return at a later date.  If on the second visit there are parked cars and we are still unable to clean the drain; it will be left until we are next due in the area as part of our maintenance programme.

Sometimes we are unable to remove the lid of the roadside drain as it has become jammed.  In these instances we will arrange for a specialised team to release the lid and then the jetter will return at a later date to clean the drain.

I would like to report a blocked drain which is covered by leaves

If the road has a kerb line, your local District or Borough Council will be responsible for the street cleaning and removing the leaves.  Please see websites below in order to contact your District or Borough Council.

Eastbourne Borough Council
Hastings Borough Council
Lewes District Council
Rother District Council
Wealden District Council

If the road does not have a kerb line and the drain is still blocked after two hours of no rain, please contact us so that we can inspect it.

There is flooding/damp in my cellar

It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that their property is maintained and protected from the ingress of water.  Our drainage systems are not designed to be completely water tight as they are designed to allow ground water into the system.  If you think that water is entering your property due to a blocked roadside gully or pipe we will arrange for the matter to be investigated. 

What is a cross channel drain?

Cross channel drains carry water from a property’s roof, through the pavement and into a road channel or drain.  It is an offence to discharge water across the pavement; during winter periods roof water from properties can freeze and create a hazard for pedestrians.  Maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner as the channel drain takes water from their property.  If cross channel drains are not maintained, property owners may be liable for any claims should a member of the public fall or injure themselves as a result of the drain.  

Do you maintain soakaways?

Yes, soakaways are cleaned on an ad-hoc basis.

What are ditches and grips?

Roadside ditches run alongside the carriageway or adjacent fields.  Water from the highway is drained into these ditches via a shallow channel called a grip.  They are usually found in rural locations across the County.  A ditch may direct water into private or publicly owned ponds and nearby watercourses.  
Some ditches are ‘holding ditches’; rather than the water being directed into a watercourse it stays in the ditch until the surrounding ground water subsides.  The water in the ditch then soaks away over time.
A highway grip is a shallow ditch which connects the edge of the carriageway to the roadside ditch.  The grip is designed to take water from the highway onto the ditch.
We maintain on an ad-hoc basis over 500km of ditches and approximately 10,000 roadside grips.   If ditching work is required the local Highway Steward will carry out an inspection to decide on the best course of action.

What if further work is needed to the drainage system?

If we find a problem with the drainage system via our Routine Drainage Maintenance Schedule or following drainage issues reported to ourselves we may need to carry out a CCTV investigation to find out what the problem is. If repairs are needed to the pipes then we will carry out repairs.
If we identify damage to our drainage system caused by a 3rd party we will contact the other party and request that repairs are carried out.

I have dropped my keys down a drain

Get in contact with us on 0345 6080 193 and we will see if we are able to retrieve them for you.  Sometimes this is not always possible but we will do our best!

How do I find more information about sustainable drainage?

Sustainable drainage systems can reduce the impact of development on the environment by mimicking the natural process of surface water management.  For information about sustainable drainage, please visit East Sussex County Council.
 

Drainage report »

What do I do if flooding is affecting land or a property?

If an emergency please call 999. If your garden or property is being flooded due to surface water from the public highway; please contact us on 0345 60 80 193 and we will arrange for the local Highway Steward to investigate.

If your garden or property is being flooded due to groundwater levels being high, East Sussex County Council’s Flood Risk Management Team would like to hear about your situation to help them understand groundwater flood risk across the County.  Please call East Sussex County Council on 0345 6080193 and ask for the Flood Risk Management Team.

If you have concerns about your house flooding then you can find more advice on East Sussex County Council's website. 

How do I report a flooded Road?

If there is flooding to the highway please contact us on 0345 60 80 193 so that we can investigate the matter further.  The local highway steward will attend to the flooding if it is urgent for example if a property is flooding or if the road needs closing.  If the flood is not urgent or dangerous the steward will investigate but not straight away.  If necessary we can put out signs to warn motorists of the water on the road.

How do I report flooding from a burst water main? 

Flooding from a burst water main needs to be reported to the water provider

  • Southern Water - 0330 303 1263
  • South East Water - 0333 000 0002

How do I report a blocked sewer or sewage flooding

You will need to report a blocked sewer or sewage flooding to your sewerage water provider. Please call Southern Water - 0330 303 1263 .
If this is causing a problem on the public highway please let us know and we and we will arrange for the local Highway Steward / Duty Officer to attend as they may be able to assist with signage or other related matters. 

Do you provide sandbags?

We are unable to provide sandbags.  Bags and sand can be bought in some DIY stores and local builders merchants.
Some district and borough councils may provide them, please see links below:
Lewes District Council 
Eastbourne Borough Council 
Hastings Borough Council
Rother District Council 
Wealden District Council

How  do I report flooding from a river or the sea?

You will need to call the Environment Agency Flood line to report flooding from a river or the sea on 0345 988 1188 (24 hour service).

Who do I report flooding caused by a blocked watercourse to?

Property owners with a watercourse within or next to their property are called 'riparian owners' and must ensure that watercourses are unobstructed and free flowing. If an ordinary watercourse is obstructed and could cause a flood risk the Flood Risk Management Team as East Sussex County Council can serve notice on the landowner to request clearance.  Please call 0345 6080193 and ask for the Flood Risk Management Team.

Information about repair and renew grants

Homeowners and businesses who have been flooded can now apply for a government grant.  Your local district or borough council are responsible for the administration of the Repair and Renew Grant, please see contact details below:

Lewes District Council  Tel: 01273 471600 Email: lewesdc@lewes.gov.uk
Wealden District Council: Tel:  01323 443322  Email:  info@wealden.gov.uk
Rother District Council Tel:   01424 787000 Email: customer.services@rother.gov.uk
Eastbourne Borough Council Tel: 01323 410000  Email: enquiries@eastbourne.gov.uk
Hastings Borough Council Tel: 01424 451066 email: hbc@hastings.gov.uk
 

Is East Sussex County Council the Lead Local Flood Authority for the county?

Yes, East Sussex County Council are the lead local flood authority for the county. Please visit East Sussex County Council for more information on their roles and responsibilities.

How can I view the Asset Register of flood risk structures and features?

East Sussex County Council have a Flood Risk Management Team who will be able to provide further information on how you can view the register.  Please call East Sussex County Council on 0345 6080193.

How can I access the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy?

To view the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, please visit East Sussex County Council's website.

How can I view the East Sussex Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment?

East Sussex County Council have produced a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment for the county.  For more information, please visit East Sussex County Council's.

Have you undertaken a Surface Water Management Plan in my area?

East Sussex County Council have undertaken a number of Surface Water Management Plans across the County.  For further information, please visit East Sussex County Council's website.

Flood boards

The flood boards are part of the sea defences.  Flood boards in Seaford are installed, depending on the weather conditions, in October and removed in early April.
Eastbourne Borough Council are responsible for flood boards in Eastbourne.  Please visit Eastbourne Borough Council's website for more information about coast protection in Eastbourne.
 

 

 

Drainage report »