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Help & Advice
Common questions about 'sewer flooding'

Sewer flooding

Flooding responsibilities

The Environment Agency is responsible for flooding from rivers.

Local councils are responsible for highways flooding.

South West Water is responsible for sewer flooding and some surface water.

However, often a lot of the flood water ends up in our sewers, because they were built as 'combined systems', taking storm water from roads as well as run-off from fields and car parks and roofs and driveways.

combined sewer illustration
When our sewers are full of storm water, sometimes they overflow, causing sewer flooding, which we very much want to avoid.
Flooded combined system

Building a completely separated system would be massively disruptive for everyone.

We are investing in more storm water storage, upgrading pumping stations and upsizing sewers in order to prevent flooding from our sewers.

We are also trialling a new approach using engineered natural features to store storm water and release it slowly into the sewers once the worst weather has passed.

Don't flush and forget it
Our sewers are not designed to cope with modern disposable products such as nappies and cotton buds that are flushed down the toilet and as a result these items can cause blockages and sewer flooding.
Investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that one of the sources of faecal pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West is misconnections.
Fat, oil and grease
If your home or business has been flooded by sewage, call us now on 0344 346 2020*.

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