Image of a Flood warning sign surrounded by water

Surface water flooding occurs when rainfall is unable to soak into the ground or enter a local drainage network resulting in water pooling on the ground.

What is the risk in Southampton?

Due to the urban nature of the city, Southampton is particularly vulnerable to surface water flooding. This type of flooding is often very difficult to manage as it can happen anywhere following heavy rainfall. The city has an extensive drainage network to manage surface water, however when rainfall is particularly intense or prolonged, it is possible for the drainage network to be overwhelmed, leading to localised surface water flooding.

Who is responsible for managing the risk?

Southampton City Council as a Lead Local Flood Authority has the responsibility to manage surface water flood risk and we do this in a number of ways:

  • Our highways partners, Balfour Beatty Living Places clear and maintain highway gullies to enable water that falls within the confines of the highway to flow into the drainage network. Gullies are inspected on a maintenance schedule, however if you believe a gully needs clearing please report it to us on our blocked drains webpage
  • The Flood Risk Management team hold a bi-monthly meeting with our highways partners, Balfour Beatty and Southern Water to identify and investigate areas which may benefit from further investigation, intervention and in some cases, surface water management schemes
  • As a statutory consultee for planning applications, the Flood Risk Management team comment on and request for the implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in new major developments across the city to help manage surface water

How can you prepare?

There are many different types of resilience and resistance measures that can be implemented into your home or business to manage the flood risk to your property. There are also some steps you can take to both reduce your risk of flooding and to keep yourself safe in the event of a flood.