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Be prepared for flooding

Published: 29 September 2020

Prevent flooding in Surrey

Is your home at risk of flooding?

With winter fast approaching, it's worth being prepared for the possibility that your home could be flooded. That includes checking if you're at risk, as well as clearing any ditches in or around your property which may protect your home as well as other people's from high water levels.

Here is some advice to help you prepare:

Clear your ditches

Ditches, streams and brooks all need care and attention, especially at this time of year. Many ditches might still be overgrown from the summer, and in November the leaves start falling, the wind brings down branches and silt builds up. So if you have a ditch or watercourse in your garden, it's time to clear it as it could help prevent your or someone else's home from flooding later in the winter.

If you own land next to a ditch, stream or brook you are a 'riparian landowner' – this means that you are also responsible for keeping these ditches, streams and brooks clear, even though they may seem to be beyond the boundary of your home or run through a piped section.

More details are available from Surrey County Council's Living next to a watercourse - your rights and responsibilities webpage.

Check if your home is at risk from flooding

There is an online tool to let you know if your property is at risk from flooding. Find out the risk from your home on the flooding information webpage.

Be prepared

If there is a risk of your home flooding, there are a few things you can do so you're ready if the worst happens:

Stay safe

If you're out driving and see the road is flooded, please take care as the depth of water can be deceptive and often masks dangers beneath. Only 30cm of moving water can float an average family-sized car – it's even less for smaller cars – and most cars that are rescued from flood water are written off. The best advice is to avoid driving through flood water and take another route if you can.

Surrey's Flood Alleviation Programme

Surrey County Council has committed to spending £270 million to protect homes and businesses across Surrey.

That includes the River Thames Scheme, which is currently awaiting the latest stage of government approval; and a scheme in Caterham, which was approved by cabinet in October, to help protect 205 properties from surface water flooding.

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