An overview of flooding

Why flooding occurs

Flooding arises when water escapes from its normal course. It can arise from a number of sources: 

  • Rivers and streams coming out of their banks
  • Groundwater levels rising
  • Excessive water in a drainage system

Flooding has always occurred near watercourses (running water) during exceptional weather conditions such as very heavy rainfall. 

Surface water flooding can be caused by a watercourse overflowing its banks or by the surface water drainage system being overwhelmed by the volume of rain. In some areas the foul and surface water drainage systems are combined and if they overflow the floodwater will be contaminated with sewage.

Flooding can also happen when groundwater levels rise as a result of a period of exceptionally wet weather, usually in late winter or early spring. The effects are generally less spectacular than other floods, but they take longer to clear than surface water floods.

You can sign up for flood warnings or find out if you are at risk of flooding (GOV.UK)

Last updated:‎11‎/‎07‎/‎2023‎ ‎16‎:‎51‎