Internal flooding

Sewer flooding is distressing. We work hard to reduce the risk of sewer flooding – but prevention isn’t always possible. Find out what to do if a sewer has flooded your property.

Who to contact
  • it's important to contact your insurer immediately to tell them about any damage the flooding has caused inside your property. If you don’t, it may affect any insurance claims you need to make
  • call our 24-hour emergency number 0330 303 0368
  • let us know if any nearby properties have been affected, so we can help them too

What we'll do
  • when possible, we’ll contact you within an hour to let you know when we'll arrive (in storms and flooding we may take longer to reach you)
  • we’ll call to let you know we’re on our way and may also send updates by text – so please make sure you provide us with your mobile number
  • when we see you, we’ll give you help and advice on what to do next
  • we'll also ask questions about the flooding to help us understand the cause
  • we’ll check our sewers and do what we can, as soon as we can, to address the cause
  • we'll carry out a basic clean-up of your property, where possible
  • we’ll also be in touch with you, to ask questions about the flooding to help us understand the cause

If the flooding is caused by a problem on our sewerage network, we will carry out an initial external clean-up where possible within 12 hours. This includes removing excess liquid, cleaning debris, applying household disinfectant – this will remove all traces of bacteria within 24 to 48 hours

Insurance claims

We will help with clean-up operations after flooding caused by our operations, unless insurance companies have agreed to make arrangements:

  • Contact your household insurance company immediately.
  • We have no strict liability for sewage flooding events that are beyond our control.
  • Claims for loss or damage must be directed to your own insurers who will provide advice on what action to take to ensure the terms and conditions of your policy are met.
What you can do
  • keep children and pets away from the flooded areas
  • if it's safe to do so, isolate all electrical circuits by turning off the supply at the circuit board or fuse box
  • contact your insurance company to report the damage and make a claim (keep receipts of emergency expenses)
  • if it's safe to do so, take photos of the flooded area – these could support your insurance claim and help us to determine why the flooding has happened and whether you’re entitled to a payment under our Guaranteed Standards of Service.


Help to stop this happening again

Sewers sometimes flood during or after heavy rain if they can't cope with the amount of water.

But often, flooding happens because of how we use our sewers and what we put down them. You can help avoid flooding – don't flush items such as:

  • wet wipes
  • nappies
  • sanitary towels
  • cotton buds
  • tampons and applicators
  • condoms
  • kitchen roll

Fat, oil and grease can also cause blockages if they’re poured down plugholes because they harden when they cool down. Find out how to keep pipes clear.

Guaranteed standards of service payment

If your premises are internally flooded due to a failure of our drainage system, we’ll automatically make a payment to you of an amount equivalent to your annual wastewater charge, from a minimum of £150 to a maximum of £1,000 for each incident. These payments are not compensation or an admission of liability.

In all cases, payments will not apply if:

  • the flooding happened because of exceptional weather conditions or industrial action
  • the flooding was caused by your action or any defect, blockage or inadequacy of private sewers, council or highway drains
  • you notified us more than three months after your property was flooded.

Follow the link for a list of all exceptions and further information:

 Guaranteed Standards of Services

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