We're aware of the distress that sewer flooding can cause and we work hard to prevent flooding from our sewers.
What causes sewer flooding?
There are lots of possible causes of flooding in your home, the most common are:
When we have exceptional weather with intense or long periods of rainfall, the sewers can become overwhelmed and aren't able to carry the additional water away quickly enough.
Pipes can block with fatty build ups, root growth and non-flushable objects like wet wipes.
Who is responsible?
The table below shows who is responsible and contact details for each type of flooding:
|Highways||Surface water on roads, highways and pavements|
Blocked road drains / gullies and overgrown verges
|Local Council Highways Department|
|Groundwater||Waterlogged ground when water pools on the surface||Local Council or Landowner|
|Rivers and watercourses||Water draining into rivers and streams from nearby land||Environment Agency or Landowner|
|Coastal / Tidal||Rough seas, high tides or storm overflows on lower land||Environment Agency|
|Public sewers||Manholes and covers||Us|
|Private sewers||Cesspits/ septic tanks, toilets or internal drains||Homeowner|
Local authority map
If you are experiencing flooding which you believe has occurred from the highway, you can use the map to contact your local authority about the flooding.
We're responsible for clearing any blockages from the pipes highlighted in brown below. The pipes marked in blue are the responsibility of the homeowner.
How we can help
If you experience flooding from a public sewer or think that it is blocked, please call us so that we can investigate. We'll clear any blockages and clean up any sewage debris outside your property.
If you have flooding inside your home, we can investigate and put you in touch with experts that can help with the clean up and talk with insurers.
There are a number of schemes, charities and community groups which can assist with support, guidance and funding to help prevent, prepare for and recover from flooding.
|Flood Re is a joint Government and insurance industry initiative to help you find affordable home insurance if you are at risk of flooding or have been flooded.|
The National Flood Forum offers a dedicated helpline and online resource for all flood related enquiries and work with Government agencies and local authorities to represent communities.
Devon Community Resilience Forum and Cornwall Community Flood Forum are local groups who can help communities to plan for and recover from flooding.
Consumer research conducted by South West Water during 2014 showed that 77% of research respondents stated that they only flush pee, paper and poo, with only 23% admitting to flushing other items. What do you flush?
Every year, tens of thousands of litres of waste fat, cooking oil and grease are poured down sinks by people who don't realise the problems this could cause.
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.