Depending on the type of flooding, you need to let different people know.
We are responsible for maintaining and fixing drainage and managing surface water during moderate to heavy rainfall on the highways across Kent. We do this by inspecting, maintaining, improving and setting standards for 250,000 road drains and associated drainage systems, including flood response where highway surface water is causing a danger to the highway network or causing internal property flooding.
If the flood is not dangerous you can report it online. If a drain is blocked but is not causing dangerous flooding, it will be unblocked as part of our scheduled cleaning programme.
Motorways and trunk roads
Highways England is responsible for drainage of the motorway and some of the A roads (trunk roads) in Kent and should be contacted for flooding issues on these roads.
If the flood may cause immediate injury or death, or is putting homes at risk call:
- 03000 41 81 81 (Monday - Friday, 9am and 5pm)
- 03000 41 91 91 (outside of office hours).
Kent County Council
We are responsible for coordinating the management of flood risks from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses. As the lead local flood authority we will investigate the causes of flooding and work with other agencies, town and parish councils and local communities to reduce the risk. However, this does not mean we can or will undertake work to fix a flooding issue.
District and borough councils
Coastal district and borough councils have powers to prevent erosion and flooding, and are responsible for the management of coastal defences. They will also be work with us and other risk management authorities to ensure that the risks to or from any new developments are effectively managed as part of the planning process.
They may be able to supply sandbags to residents in vulnerable conditions. However sandbags are limited and councils cannot guarantee that they will be delivered in time or in sufficient quantity to prevent or reduce damage to property.
Town and parish councils
Town and parish councils alongside the community play an important role in managing local flood risks. They can help to gather information when flooding occurs and report incidents.
Communities at risk of flooding can prepare an emergency plan. The plan should identify:
- the action that needs to be taken before, during and after flooding
- important information for residents
- support for vulnerable people and arrangement with the authorities.
Sewer flooding is the responsibility of your water or sewerage company.
Private drains are the responsibility of the homeowner or occupier.
Your local water company or drainage contractors will fix the damage for a fee.
Flooding from a burst water main is the responsibility of your water and sewerage company.
Main rivers or the sea
The Environment Agency is responsible for flood risk management activities on main rivers across Kent, for regulating reservoir safety and providing flood risk warnings.
Call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 to report flooding from a main river or the sea.
Other rivers, streams and ditches
Rivers, streams and ditches that are not main rivers are the responsibility of the landowner to maintain. Read about landowners' responsibilities for the maintenance of rivers, streams and ditches (PDF, 48.6 KB).
If there is a problem with a river, stream, ditch or drain please contact us or report it to the internal drainage board:
Any flood damage in a home is the responsibility of the homeowner or occupier.
If a flood on a road is putting homes at risk, call us on 03000 41 81 81.
Find out more about how you can prepare your home for flooding.
If you own land or property where a watercourse runs through or adjacent, or the watercourse has been placed inside a culvert pipe and runs underneath your property, you are known as a riparian owner. Riparian owners must accept water from their upstream neighbour and transfer this, together with drainage from their property, downstream.
If a watercourse lies between 2 or more properties, it is presumed that each owner is equally responsible.