Report flooding

If you are experiencing flooding, try to determine the type of flooding shown below. This will help you to contact the correct authority who will be able to respond or offer you advice.

If floodwater is entering your property, you are at imminent risk of flooding, or you are concerned for your safety, we advise that you contact the Fire and Rescue Service by calling 999.

See our page on flood alerts and emergency flooding information or or read Be Flood Aware (PDF) for further advice on what to in the case of a flood.

Roads and footpaths

We deal with issues relating to the drainage and flooding of roads. You can report flooding relating to a road such as blocked drains or ditches

Please note that ditches along the side of the road are the responsibility of whoever owns the land on which they are situated or adjacent to, they should maintain and keep the ditch capable of carrying water away from the road. See our page on riparian owners for more information.

Private sewers and drains

Private sewers and drains are the responsibility of the property owner.

If your private drains or sewers are overflowing, you will need a drainage contractor to deal with any blockage (see 'Yellow Pages' or similar directories for drain and pipe cleaning').

If you are uncertain whether a blockage is in the public or private sewer, your water company should be able to determine this for you Please be aware that if the water company undertake any work on the private sewer, you will likely be charged for the cost.

Public sewers and burst water pipes

If exceptional weather has caused the public sewer to flood, your property could be affected both internally and externally. Internal flooding is less common and can be caused when the sewerage system backs up through the internal drains or toilet inside your property.

Anglian Water is the sewerage undertaker and fresh water supplier for Bedford Borough.

Remember to avoid contact with flood water from sewers as it may be contaminated. Wash thoroughly if you do come into contact.

Contact Anglian Water:

Surface and ground water

Periods of heavy or prolonged rainfall will often overwhelm the drainage system, which is not designed to deal with excessive wet weather. This may lead to water collecting around drains and gullies or dips in the land. This will likely drain away once the drainage system has recovered. However, if flooding has occurred or you believe your property is at threat due to excessive water after heavy rain or from water that appears to be coming up from the ground, please contact our Resilience Team on:


Watercourses fall into two categories, main rivers and ordinary watercourses (such as streams, channels, ditches, dykes, culverted/piped watercourses, lakes and ponds).

To direct your enquiry, it is important to know which type of watercourse you are dealing with. This can be done using the flood map for planning.

Landowners are responsible for ensuring that watercourses within their property boundaries are maintained free from blockages. See more about your responsibilities as a landowner.

Flooding from main rivers

To report flooding from a main river or any activity which you feel could lead to flooding, please contact the Environment Agency on 0845 988 1188 (24 hours).

Flooding from ordinary watercourses

To report flooding or any activity which you feel could lead to flooding from a watercourse that is not identified as a main river on the Environment Agency's flood map, contact our Resilience Team on:


Where not from sewers, drains, water mains or blocked watercourses.

Water can enter your basement in one of three ways:

  • Through cracks in the cellar wall
  • Through the joint between the cellar wall and the cellar floor
  • Through the cellar window well

Property owners are responsible for dealing with groundwater water ingress into cellars. Note that specialist advice should be sought before preventing water ingress by sealing walls externally or internally.

We may be able to help investigate the source of the water, provided that your water company has already investigated and ruled out the possibility of leakage from sewers and water mains.

Still unsure who to contact?

If flooding is occurring from unknown or multiple sources, or you are unsure of who to contact, get in touch with out Resilience Team who will be able to advise you.

Tel: 01234 267422