Sewer flooding can be due to extreme weather, rivers bursting their banks or even defects in the sewer network. Yet, 75% of the time, it's due to blockages caused by the wrong things getting flushed down the loo or poured down the sink. This can be baby and toilet wipes, nappies and sanitary items as well as fats, oils and grease which can solidify into a dreaded 'fatberg'. As a result of these causes, it's not easy to determine the immediate reason. But, in all cases of sewer flooding, we'll try to find out why it happened as well as how to prevent it from happening again.
If your home is flooded inside, you should contact your household insurer straight away. They will be able to advise you on cleaning up, disinfecting your home and replacement of any damaged property. If you don't do this, you might not be able to claim in the future. You’ll find more information in our handy guide to sewer flooding [PDF]
Whose responsibility is the flooding?
Does the water have foul debris like toilet paper, sanitary products and wipes? Is it also coming from the public sewer in the street? If so, it's likely our sewer and we'll sort that out.
Is the flooding only affecting your home? Is the water coming from a private drain or sewer on your or a neighbours property boundary? Is the local area flood-free? If so, you or the owner will need to repair the drain.
Is the flooding is coming from a highway drain (the ones with the holes you can drop keys through) or gully? Is the water clean and has no foul debris like toilet paper or sanitary products? If so, it's the responsibility of the local highways authority or county council.
Higher rainwater during bad weather can cause rivers to burst their banks. This results in river water getting into the public sewerage network causing flooding. If this is the case, contact the Environment Agency.
If there has been heavy rain, you may notice rainwater and surface water flooding. Flooding caused by rainwater and surface water, and small local rivers or streams may burst their banks. This is the responsibility of your local flood authority. You can find out who to contact by searching online.
Heavy rain can sometimes water log fields that don't have proper drainage. This can result in flooding. In the majority of cases, the landowner will be responsible.
If your query is urgent call our 24-hour Customer Centre on 0800 783 4444.