We are responsible for keeping roads and pavements free of flooding that might cause a hazard or an obstruction to highway users. We have a duty to keep the highway network free from obstruction and safe for all to use.
We are not responsible for preventing flooding to private property; that is the owner’s responsibility, unless the situation is the result of something we have unreasonably done or not done.
You can report flooding here.
When you contact us, please give us the following information:
- Your name and phone number
- Where the flooding is
- Whether it is outside a specific property or address
If you are reporting a problem outside normal working hours and you believe it is urgent and a risk to public safety, please phone the police on 101. Please phone reports of mud on ‘A’ class roads (for example A38) straight to the police on 101.
During severe weather conditions heavy demands are often made on the service, we will investigate reports as soon as resources permit and react according to our findings, involving other organisations where necessary.
Motorways and trunk roads
To report flooding on the M5 or a major trunk road (A303, A36) please contact Highways England information Line on 0300 123 5000.
If the flooding is due to a burst pipe, you should contact your water supplier (the company to whom you pay your water rates). Property owners are responsible for preventing flooding to their properties.
You need to contact us should your premises flood due to something we have unreasonably done or not done.
If a flooded road is caused by a ruptured water main the water company will be responsible for repairing the damage.
Bristol Water Leakline – 0800 801011
Wessex Water Leakstoppers – 0800 692 0 692
If your property is already flooded you should contact the fire service.
If you are concerned that your property could flood, please contact your district council for information on the provision of sandbags.
When schools close you can find a list of schools which have let us know they are closed, or have restricted opening here.
You can find details of public, school and care transport which has been affected by flooding on our Transport affected by bad weather page.
Missed waste collections
You can find details of waste collections that have been missed because of flooding, and what you should do if this has affected you on the Somerset Waste Partnership website.
This is a service provided by the Environment Agency, providing up-to-date flood warnings and advice. Floodline can also provide useful information on purchasing flood protection equipment. They also offer advice and expertise through education and promotion of good practices to farmers.
Roads have features designed to take the water away from the road surface. Exceptional rainfall, a road being in a low lying area, changes in run off from adjacent fields and rivers overflowing are some situations that can lead to the road flooding or being waterlogged even when drains are in good working order. Puddles tend to occur if there is a depression in the road and can be rectified by local patching of the road surface. The priorities attached to this type of work depend on the urgency of other work and the resources available.
Highway gullies are cleared on an annual cycle or more frequently where appropriate. If there is a likelihood of property being flooded and water on the highway being a hazard please report it to us.
Highway flooding can cause a hazard and can damage the structure of the road. The main flooding threats are a river rising, a blocked water course, a burst pipe, road water flooding, a blocked drain (gully), ditch or culvert, land surface water flooding off of fields or natural spring water flooding.
For current flood warnings in force please phone the 24-hour Floodline on: 0845 988 1188
Flood protection products and services directory
The National Flood Forum has produced a Blue Pages Directory. This is a directory of flood protection products and services put together to help you protect your home or business against flooding. While we cannot endorse any of the products, we are happy to provide the information so that you can make informed choices.
Where there is a risk of flooding to a depth of more than 0.9m, keeping water out can sometimes do more harm than good. The pressure of water against your property may cause structural damage to the building itself.
The National Flood Forum recommends that you visit the Environment Agency website before you buy any flood protection products.
You can also phone Floodline on 0845 988 1188 and ask for copies of their information booklets “Preparing for a Flood”, “During a Flood” and “After a Flood”.
Following the floods of 2007, DEFRA and the Association of British Insurers have developed information for householders and businesses about insurance in areas that are at risk. There is also information on flood resilient homes and what you can do to reduce flood damage.
Food and health
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) gives advice on food safety after a flooding incident.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) produces various leaflets on health issues after a flooding incident.
- Do not drive through deep water. Cars can stall and be washed away
- Drive at speeds appropriate to the weather conditions, and remember that surface water can cause aquaplaning
- If you are travelling a long distance, make sure you have clothing, blankets, food and drink in the car in case you are caught up in long delays
- Do not enter moving water. Moving water 18 inches or 45 centimetres deep can knock an adult over.
- Be aware of the location of drain and manhole covers. Water pressure can lift them out of place leaving a hidden danger.
- All flood water is potentially contaminated. Do not allow children to play in it and make sure you wash yourself thoroughly if you have been in contact with flood water.
- Make sure, where possible, that drains and screens are clear of debris to allow water to flow away freely.
- Do not approach any power cables that have been brought down by the weather. They could be live and therefore dangerous.
- Check that pets and livestock kept outside can move freely and escape rising water.
- If you are travelling in remote areas make sure family or friends know when you are leaving and your expected arrival time.
- Make sure mobile phones are fully charged – emergency calls are free even if you have no credit.
- Check to make sure elderly or vulnerable neighbours are safe.
- Do not put yourself at risk.