There is a flood alert in effect. Please stay safe and follow the latest Flooding information and advice.

Flooding incidents

You can report flooding or mud on the road, or blocked drains and gullies.

Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, we are classified as a Category 1 responder for most emergencies including flooding.

The Lead Local Flood Authority is not a response team but has several statutory roles including the following responsibilities in helping to manage a flood event.

We also have a duty to cooperate with other risk management authorities (RMAs) who are responsible for managing flooding across Somerset.

We do not investigate all instances of flooding – for example, gardens, land or ancillary buildings. Where we have decided to investigate a significant flooding issue, usually internal flooding to 5 or more properties, we will review the relevant correspondence and make this information available to the officer leading the Section 19 flood investigation.

We work with colleagues and other authorities wherever possible to provide communities with regular joint updates about any ongoing investigations.

Works to watercourses

Works to a watercourse may require Land Drainage Consent – information, including how to apply is on our Apply for consent to work on an ordinary watercourse page.

We receive a high number of queries reporting concerns about the maintenance of local watercourses, drains and ditches. In most cases, it is the landowner’s responsibility to maintain these for effective drainage. We endeavour to raise awareness of these responsibilities, including engaging at a community level through our SRA-funded Riparian Responsibilities Officer.

The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) has discretionary powers – but not a duty – under the Land Drainage Act 1991 to take enforcement action against landowners who fail to properly maintain these systems resulting in flooding. We have a local policy outlining our approach to enforcement –  Land Drainage Enforcement Policy.

Our role in town and county planning

We receive many queries about the impact of new developments on flood risk.

For more information about how we promote the use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), through the provision of technical advice and guidance to Local Planning Authorities, see our Sustainable Drainage in Somerset page.

We have recently completed a Somerset Rivers Authority-funded project to develop web-based guidance and local standards for Somerset. This guidance will bring about an ambitious and consistent approach to the design, construction and ongoing monitoring of SuDS for developers, designers, contractors and the public. First, a draft version of the guidance will be rolled out, but it is envisaged that the guidance will become a Supplementary Planning Document, underpinning local plan policy.

If you have any questions about a specific planning application, please contact the Local Planning Authority in the first instance.

Contact the team


Last reviewed: November 10, 2023 by Jenny

Next review due: May 10, 2024

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