Flooding and flood risk management

Flooding - who to contact

If you're flooded right now

Call 999 if you're currently being flooded.

Flooding on the highways

We provide and manage highway drainage to keep the roads safe. We are responsible for managing surface water flood risk on roads through maintenance of the highway drainage system.

You can report flooding on highways (link opens in new window) to us online or by calling 0300 300 8049.

Sewers and drains

This can happen when sewers are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall or when they become blocked, causing them to surcharge. The chance of sewer flooding will depend on the capacity of the local sewerage system and the amount of rain that falls.

In urban areas, surface water flooding and sewer flooding often combine, polluting the floodwater.

For public sewers, please contact Anglian Water or Thames Water.

Anglian Water (link opens in new window)
Telephone: 03457 145 145

Thames Water (link opens in new window)
Telephone: 0800 316 9800

Individuals are responsible for private sewers and drains within their property boundaries.

Water mains

This type of flooding is not related to rainfall but can cause localised disruption to transport and damage to buildings, particularly properties with a basement.

To make a report please contact Anglian Water or Thames Water.

Anglian Water (link opens in new window)
Telephone: 03457 145 145

Thames Water (link opens in new window)
Telephone: 0800 316 9800

Surface water

This is caused when rainwater can’t drain away into natural or man-made systems, instead it collects on the surface in pools or flows over the ground.

Call 999 in an emergency. To report this please email floodrisk@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 8098.

Flooding from rivers and reservoirs

Flooding from main rivers will occur when the level of water overtops a river's banks or flood defences, usually caused by long or heavy periods of rain.

To report flooding from rivers and reservoirs, contact the Environment Agency (link opens in new window), call 08708 506 506 or email enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Flooding from ordinary watercourses

These are all watercourses that aren’t labelled as ‘main rivers' by the Environment Agency (view the Environment Agency's flood map (link opens in new window)).

We are the lead authority. The Bedford Group of Internal Drainage Boards (link opens in new window) also controls some watercourses. Riparian owners are responsible for making sure watercourses are working effectively.

Ground water

This happens when water levels in the ground rise above the land surface. It is most likely in areas underlain by permeable rocks such as chalk or sandstone, called ‘aquifers’. This type of flooding can last for weeks or months.

Call 999 in an emergency. To report this please email floodrisk@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 8098.

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