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Managing flood risk

flood photoDifferent types of flood risk are managed by different organisations. Landowners, householders and businesses also have a responsibility for managing flood risk.

Medway Council

Medway Council is responsible for managing local flood risk.

Local flood risk is defined as flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.

How we work with other organisations to manage local flooding in Medway is set out in our Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Environment Agency

The EA manages flood risk from rivers and the sea. It also provides flood warnings and advice on preparing for a flood and what to do after a flood.

Sewerage undertakers and water supply companies

In Medway, flooding from public sewers or fresh water pipes should be reported to Southern Water.

Southern Water - phone 0845 270 1508

Highways Authority

Medway Council act as the Highway Authority and have the lead responsibility for providing and managing highway drainage and roadside ditches. The owners of land adjoining a highway also have a common law duty to maintain ditches.

Internal Drainage Boards

Internal Drainage Boards are established in areas of special drainage need. They have powers to manage flood risk and maintain water levels on behalf of their community and they manage all watercourses within their administrative boundary except for those which are managed by the Environment Agency. There are two Internal Drainage Boards in Medway, the Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board, and the North Kent Marshes Internal Drainage Board.

Landowners, householders and businesses

Landowners who manage land adjoining a main river or ordinary watercourse are known as ‘riparian owners’ and have a special legal duty for keeping it clear of obstructions that could cause flooding. Riparian owners should also ensure that the banks of the watercourse are maintained. 

More information on the rights and responsibilities of a riparian owner can be found in an Environment Agency publication 'Living on the Edge'.

Householders have a responsibility to make themselves aware of flood risks they may face so that they are able to take steps to protect themselves from flooding.  Find out whether you are at risk of flooding and what you can do to prepare your property.

Householders should be aware that paving areas that were previously impermeable may increase surface water runoff and lead to local drainage issues.  Planning permission may be required for any paving works greater than 5m2.  More information is available about paving your front garden on the Planning Portal.

Householders and businesses should also keep fat, oils, and other unsuitable items out of drains and sewers as these cause major blockages that can result in sewer flooding.  More information is available about how to report flooding from sewers, and what you shouldn't put down drains.