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  4. Flood risk management and types of flooding

Flood risk management and types of flooding

Use this page to find out who is responsible for managing flood risk by flooding type.

You can read more about our flood risk management policies on our Lead Local Flood Authority page.

Main river flooding

The Environment Agency is the Risk Management Authority for main river flooding.

Main rivers in the area include:

  • The River Avon
  • The River Chew
  • Cam Brook
  • Wellow Brook

View a map of the main rivers in the area

Our responsibilities

Select a topic below to find out more about the flood risks we are responsible for:

Flooding from small rivers, brooks, streams or ditches

We are the Risk Management Authority for ordinary watercourses. Any watercourse that is not defined as a main river is an ordinary watercourse. This includes:

  • small rivers
  • brooks
  • streams
  • ditches

We are responsible for approving third-party works on ordinary watercourses, to manage flood risks.

We can take enforcement action if works take place without our consent, or if something stops the proper flow of water in an ordinary watercourse.

Surface water flooding

We are the Risk Management Authority for surface water or 'flash' flooding. 

Surface water flooding often occurs during or shortly after high-intensity storms.

We carry out works to manage flood risks from surface water runoff.

Surface water flooding from private property

We do not normally get involved in cases where flooding on private property is due to surface water runoff from another private property. This is a civil matter between the two landowners.

Groundwater flooding

We are the Risk Management Authority for groundwater flooding.

Groundwater flooding occurs when the water levels in rock and soil become high enough for the water to appear near or above the ground surface.

We carry out works to manage flood risks from groundwater.

Other organisation responsibilities

Select a topic below to find out more about the flood risks that other organisations are responsible for:

Sewer flooding

Wessex Water is the Risk Management Authority for sewer flooding.

Sewer flooding happens either when the pipes in the network are blocked or when there is heavy rainfall and the sewers cannot cope with the amount of water because they are not designed to cope with heavy, prolonged rainfall.

Reservoir flooding

The Environment Agency is the Risk Management Authority for reservoir flooding. The owner or operator of the reservoir will be responsible for managing the reservoir.

If a watercourse is on or next to your land

If your property is next to or backs onto a river, stream or other watercourse, it is likely that you are the Riparian Owner. This means you own and are responsible for the maintenance of the land up to the centre of the watercourse.

Warning You can face legal action if lack of maintenance causes flooding

A Riparian Owner is responsible for the following:

  • maintaining the banks and bed of the watercourse
  • removing any man-made or natural debris that may cause a blockage
  • keeping any structures clear of debris (culverts, trash screens, weirs or mill gates) 
  • allowing water to flow through your land without obstruction, pollution or diversion
  • accepting flood water through your land

You have a right to protect your property from flooding and erosion. However, you must discuss the flood protection method with us if the watercourse is a small river, ditch, brook or stream. You can contact our team by email at drainage_flooding@bathnes.gov.uk

If the relevant watercourse is a main river, you will need to contact the Environment Agency about flood protection methods.

Read more about owning a watercourse