Multiple sandbags

In some instances sandbags can be effective in reducing damage from floodwater, however the effectiveness is dependent on the bags being properly filled and stacked correctly, prior to flood water entering the property.

Southampton City Council does not routinely provide sandbags, with requests made on a case-by-case basis. Any supplies held by the council are used to support the emergency services when and where they may be required. Sandbags are readily available to purchase from builders merchants and DIY stores across the city. It is advised that you call the store to check stock levels before travelling. Alternatively in an emergency situation, a pillowcase or bin liner filled with soil from the garden may provide some protection against water entry. 

To request sandbags from the council, please use the following telephone numbers.

  • 023 8083 3000, opening hours:
    • Monday: 8.30pm to 5pm
    • Tuesday: 8.30pm to 5pm
    • Wednesday: 9am to 5pm
    • Thursday: 8.30am to 5pm
    • Friday: 8.30am to 4.30pm
    • Closed bank holidays
  • 023 8023 3344 (For emergencies outside the above hours.)

To improve the effectiveness of sandbags against flooding they must be used and stacked correctly. For information on how to use sandbags, please see the Environment Agency’s advice: Sandbags and how to use them properly for flood protection

Used sandbags must be disposed of correctly at a Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Alternative Options

Sandbag construction does not guarantee that water will not enter a property and there are alternative measures that a property owner can take to reduce the likelihood and impact of flooding.

Property Flood Resilience (PFR) is an effective way to reduce the impact a flood event can have on a property. Please see our Property Flood Resilience page to find out more information on resilience and resistant measures against flooding.