When very heavy rain falls on hard surfaces drainage and sewers are often overwhelmed and surface water builds up. This can also be caused by the collection of mud, leaves and other debris that block drains.
If the water remains standing on the surface when the rain has stopped please let us know but allow a reasonable amount of time for the water to drain away before you do this.
If you think that the flood may be an emergency situation, please call our contact centre immediately instead of filling in the reporting form.
The Met Office posts weather information for Surrey including severe weather warnings.
How often we clean drains
We have about 160,000 drains located at the side of roads. They are cleaned at least once every two years, however in known problem areas and on major roads we clean them more frequently either annually or twice a year.
We assess the condition of our drains every time they are cleaned and adjust the frequency so that we can target those that require more regular cleaning. This may mean that those in good condition are cleaned less frequently. We don't clean drains in car parks, blocks of flats or private roads.
Please see our drain cleaning schedule for further information.
Reasons why drains can become blocked
- Drain covered in leaves or other debris
- Connecting pipes blocked with debris or silt;
- Tree roots blocking the pipes
- Cracks in older pipes
- Breaks in connecting pipes due to ground movement
How we unblock drains
We use high-pressure hoses to blast through the pipes to try and clear a blockage and a root cutter attachment to clear tree roots. If we aren't able to clear the blockage we use a camera to locate the problem. Often the only solution is to dig the road up and replace the pipework.
How the drains are cleaned
A tanker with a suction hose takes an average of five minutes to clear each drain.
- The drain cover is lifted
- The hose is lowered into the drain pot and the sediment and debris vacuumed up into the tanker
- Water is then flushed back in to the drain to ensure the system is working properly
Please help us by not tipping waste such as concrete and oil down the drains as this can block the pipes and contaminate ditches, streams and rivers.
Access to drains
Sometimes we need to clean the drains but can't because cars are parked over them. If we need to clean the drains in a road where there are normally cars parked, we will put signs up showing the planned cleaning dates. Please help us by parking elsewhere during this period.
Recycling drain waste
The debris and sediment that we collect is taken to a state of the art drain waste-recycling centre where 60% is recycled. Grit and sand is removed from the waste and used in asphalt and concrete production and the cleaned water is used for washing gravel.