04 November 2010>
If you own land or property alongside a river, or have a culvert on your property, this information will be useful. It explains your rights and responsibilities as a property or land owner.
Over recent years, following flooding incidents, the council has received many enquiries regarding watercourses on private property.
It appears that significant numbers of the general public are unaware of their responsibility under the Land Drainage Act 1991 to maintain the free flow of water over or through their land. Under the Land Drainage Act this is referred to as the landowner's 'riparian responsibility'.
In practice this means that individual land or property owners are required to keep watercourses and any culverts that pass through their land free from obstruction caused by artificial and natural material - ie if man made debris or a tree were to cause the watercourse to block, the land owner is obliged to remove the obstruction.
"Drainage is a complicated matter and we want to ensure that residents clearly understand their responsibilities ," said CCBC cabinet member Cllr Rob Gough, "Problems caused by flooding can be devastating so it is important that steps are taken to limit the risk as much as possible."
It should be noted that there are other drainage systems not covered under the Land Drainage Act. Riparian responsibility such as private drainage would also be the responsibility of the landowner. Other drainage responsibilities would lie with other bodies – eg main rivers (Environment Agency), highway drainage (highway authority), public foul sewers, combined sewers and surface water sewers (Welsh Water) etc.
There are many housing developments where, until the site is adopted, the responsibility for all drainage matters lies with the developer.
In order to assist residents in protecting their property the websites listed below have detailed information that may assist.
National Flood Forum - www.floodforum.org.uk
Environment Agency - www.environment-agency.gov.uk
Welsh Water public sewer problems Tel 08000 853 968 - www.dwrcymru.com
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