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How we manage flood risk
Different types of flood risk are managed by
different organisations known as Risk Management
Authorities and include Medway Council, the Environment Agency,
Water, Highways Authority and Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board.
Additionally, landowners, householders and
businesses also have a responsibility for managing flood
The Flood Risk
Regulations 2009 created Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA)'s
at County and Unitary level, therefore Medway Council is a
designated Lead Local
The Flood and
Water Management Act 2010 assigns and further extends our
responsibilities associated with 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.
The Environment Agency (EA)
has a strategic overview of all sources of flooding and coastal
erosion. It is responsible for flood and coastal erosion risk
management activities on main rivers and the coast, regulating
reservoir safety and working in partnership with the Met Office to
provide forecasts and warnings.
It also looks for opportunities to maintain
and improve the environment for people and wildlife while carrying
out its duties.
The EA manages flood risk from the sea and
main rivers (main rivers are identified on the
Environment Agency Flood Map). It also provides flood warnings
advice on preparing for a flood as well as what to do after a
The EA have
produced a National
Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy as well
as plans which are specific to Medway:
Medway Estuary and Swale
Shoreline Management Plan.
Catchment Flood Management Plans
Sewerage undertakers and water supply companies
Flooding caused by public sewers and fresh
water pipes is the responsibility of the relevant sewerage
undertaker or water supply company. In Medway, flooding from
public sewers or fresh water pipes should be reported to Southern
Southern Water -
phone 0845 270 1508
Medway Council act as the Highway
Authority and have the lead responsibility for providing and
managing highway drainage and roadside ditches under the
1980. The owners of land adjoining a highway also have a
common law duty to maintain ditches.
Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board
The Lower Medway Internal Drainage
Board is a local public body. 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 main rivers which are
managed by the Environment Agency or riparian
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
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 shouldn’t be put down drains.