Flood risk management -  who to contact if you experience flooding or are at risk of flooding

There is no single body responsible for managing flood risk and responsibility is joint among a number of bodies. Before you report a flooding issue first read the information below to determine who is responsible for it.

Read our flooding contacts flowchart to identify who you need to talk to (PDF)

If you are flooding right now call 999.

Highway culverts, drains, surface water flooding and flooding from ordinary watercourses

We (Caerphilly County Borough Council) are responsible for highway culverts drains, surface water flooding and flooding from ordinary watercourses.

We have enforcement powers under the Land Drainage Act 1991 to ensure any blockages that may cause a flood risk within a watercourse are removed. We are responsible for issuing Ordinary Watercourse Consent for temporary or permanent work within or near a watercourse (Excluding flood defences and main rivers).

A selection of culverts we maintain are on a 'Severe Weather Culvert Register' which we introduced in 2002 to identify and highlight culverts (that are the responsibility of Caerphilly County Borough Council) considered  to have a higher potential to cause flooding to highways, property and other assets. When we receive notification from weather forecasters of a severe weather event, this prompts the instigation of the rapid inspection and cleansing procedure by our Network Contracting Services (NCS). The process includes an initial inspection at each site with small scale remedial cleansing as necessary. A separate resource is then mobilised if further larger scale cleansing is required.

Gullies located within council owned highways are cleaned on cyclic programme every 6 months. However, if you believe there is an issue with a gully or a blocked pipe which is causing flooding issues, please report it to us.

Critical watercourses and main rivers

Natural Resources Wales is responsible for the critical watercourses and main rivers.

Visit the Natural Resources Wales website for information

Public surface water sewers and foul sewers

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is responsible for public surface water sewers and foul sewers.

Public surface water sewers cater for rain water running off the surface of areas of hard standing and other generally impermeable areas such as car parks, industrial land and public amenity areas, and from the roofs of buildings.

Foul sewers carrying waste water from domestic, commercial and industrial premises for treatment at the sewerage works.

Visit the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water website from information

Watercourses contained on private land

The landowner is responsible for ensuring the free flow of water in any watercourses contained within their land. A watercourse, as defined by the Land Drainage Act 1991, is “all rivers and streams and all ditches, drains, cuts, culverts, dikes, sluices, sewers (other than public sewers within the meaning of the Water Industry Act 1991) and passages through which water flows”

Maintenance must be undertaken on the watercourse (within your land) to clear any obstructions so flow is not affected. This includes bed and banks, culverts, weirs, sluice gates and trash screens. 

The riparian owner must accept the natural flow from the upstream neighbour and allow it to pass unimpeded to the downstream recipient without an affect to flow (including obstruction, pollution or diversion). 

Any alterations require an ordinary watercourse consent which can be obtained either from us or from Natural Resources Wales, depending on the designation of watercourse.

Visit the Natural Resources Wales website for a guide to your rights and responsibilities of riverside ownership in Wales.

Issues on private land 

Issues contained within private land are generally the responsibility of the land owner. These include springs, groundwater and water contained wholly within your land. 

Groundwater is the term given to any water found beneath the surface that fills cracks and spaces in the layers of soil, and rock. At a certain depth the soil and rock become saturated with water which has seeped through the ground. This top boundary is called the water table. The water table is not fixed, and rises and falls depending on weather conditions and events. 

During periods of extended wet weather the water table is very likely to rise, and even emerge above the ground level. This can lead to groundwater flooding. 

The most common signs of this are:

  • Water emanating through the ground surface,
  • Water seepage, usually through ground/retaining/basement walls,
  • Flood water remains for an extended period after poor weather events,
  • Seasonal occurrences of the flooding, 
  • Delayed flooding/seepage following rainfall events.

If flooding has occurred in your property, we advise that you contact your home insurance company for further guidance. We are able to provide limited assistance in dealing with groundwater issues as this is considered a private issue:

  • Internal flooding to property: Report it to your home insurance company. We also ask that you report this to us as an internal flooding incident as we can use this information to better understand the risk of groundwater flooding to an area.

  • External flooding: Unfortunately our drainage team is very limited in the support we can provide. If your property is affected by groundwater flooding we would direct you to sources of advice. We still advised you to contact your insurance company who should be able to guide you as to what you can do.