Flooding, sewers, drains and gullies

We are responsible for the gullies, or road drains as they are sometimes called,  which are located on the public highway. These gullies collect the water running off the road and pavement areas.

Gullies are usually located at the edge of the kerb where the road meets the pavement and have a metal grill as a cover. Sometimes these grills can become blocked with mud or leaves and prevent the water draining. Also, on occasion the gullies get blocked or cannot handle the capacity of water flowing and overflow onto the road.

Report a blocked drain or gully

You can report a road drain or gully fault to Highway.Inspectors@hackney.gov.uk.

Read our surface water management plan and guidance on sustainable drainage.


The following give guidance on who to contact for various types of flooding on the highway.

Flooding on the public highway

If you have noticed a blocked gully or broken grill you can contact us 020 8356 2897.

Flooding from public sewers

The water company own and manage the network of public foul and surface water sewers. The majority of public sewers are located in the highway and we have a copy of the sewer maps, which can be viewed at the Council Offices. To report an overflowing public sewer, you should contact Thames Water’s freephone Leakline on 0800 714 614.

Flooding from private sewers or drains

If your private drains or sewers are overflowing, you will need a drainage contractor to deal with any blockage. (see “Yellow Pages” or similar local directories). If you are uncertain if any blockage is in the public or private sewers, Thames Water should be able to determine this, once on site. They will recharge you the cost of any work on the private sewers.

Flooding from a burst water main

Thames Water are responsible for their supply up to and including the water stopcock and can be reported on their freephone Leakline on 0800 714 614.

Flooding from a water service pipe or internal pipework

This is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord and would need the attention of a plumber (see “Yellow Pages” or similar directories).

Flooding from a main river

The main rivers are the responsibility of the Environment Agency and can be contacted on 03708 506 506. The agency’s Floodline provides 24 hour advice and information on floods and flood warnings on 0345 988 1188.

Provision of sandbags to protect against flooding

Residents who are aware that their homes are at a high risk of flooding, for example as a result of the close proximity to a watercourse, are recommended to sign up to alerting services such as the Environment Agency flood warning service, and to obtain flood protection equipment / sandbags to enable early protection of their property. Find out about preparing for a flood.

Surface water management plan (SWMP)

The SWMP outlines the preferred surface water management strategy for the borough. In this context surface water flooding describes flooding from sewers, drains, groundwater, and runoff from land, small watercourses and ditches that occurs as a result of heavy rainfall.

For further information regarding surface water management please email floodsandsuds@hackney.gov.uk.

Page updated on: 26 May 2021



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