Flooding and Drainage

For the latest information on flood alerts and advice in Gloucestershire, please visit www.glosprepared.co.uk or follow #floodglos on Twitter.

The district of Stroud is heavily influenced by the River Severn and other smaller watercourses.

Even if your home is not directly at risk from flooding, we can all be affected by the consequences of an unexpected event. Flash flooding usually arises as a result of heavy rain over a short space of time and has caused a great deal of disruption. Unlike river flooding, surface water flooding is much more difficult to predict. Your essential flood guide [354kb] contains useful information on flood risk, emergency guidance and post flood help.

If you have a river, stream, ditch or culvert running through or alongside your property, you are most likely considered a 'riparian owner'. You have responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the watercourse to ensure that it is not a flood risk to other people or property. The leaflet Waterside living in Gloucestershire [890kb] is available to help explain this further.

Riverside property owners

Know your rights and responsibilities

If you own land or property alongside a river or other watercourse including a culvert, this guide is for you. It explains your rights and responsibilities as a riverside property owner.

A watercourse is any natural or artificial channel that water flows through, such as a river, including where a river flows through a culvert, brook, beck, or mill stream. If you own property alongside a watercourse, you are a 'riparian owner'.

Some of your responsibilities include:

  • maintaining river beds and banks
  • allowing the flow of water to pass without obstruction
  • controlling invasive alien species such as Japanese knotweed

There is a guide to your responsibilities available from the Environment Agency called Living On The Edge 2012. You can download a copy here:

If you have any concerns about the condition of a river or watercourse please contact the Water Resources Engineer on 01453 754480.

Consents for works on ordinary watercourses

Under the Land Drainage Act 1991, you will need consent to build a culvert or structure (such as a weir) which is likely to affect flow in an ordinary watercourse. It is our responsibility to issue consent for ordinary watercourses under amendments to the Land Drainage Act 1991. Consent on Main Rivers (rivers designated by the Environment Agency and Defra and included on the Main River map) is the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

Under delegated powers contained in Section 13(4) of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 consenting will be granted by Stroud District Council.

Check the lists for   Typical works that may require consent - (PDF). Please contact the relevant Water Resources Engineer (see contact details below) to identify whether any proposed works will require a consent.

If consent is required you will need to submit an application form, alongside a £50 application fee. The application will be determined within 8 weeks.

If you may need consent read the guidance notes - (PDF) and complete an application form - (PDF). You will need a  unique reference number from Stroud District Council . The form should be completed and sent, with the application fee to the appropriate consenting body.

Water Resource Engineer
Environmental Health Service
Ebley Mill

Tel: 01453 754480
Mobile: 07817 601581


It is a homeowner's responsibility to protect their property from a flood risk. If a property owner feels their property is at risk of flooding the council will encourage the resident to consider other ways to protect the property than sandbags. For example, flood proof doors, flood boards and airbrick covers are more effective and can be stored by the homeowner so that they are much more convenient to use at short notice. This is an independent directory of flood protection products and services for information www.bluepages.org.uk

The council will give out free empty sandbags at Ebley Mill and will supply empty sandbags to builders merchants across the district. Residents can pick up sandbags from suppliers but will be charged for the sand. Suppliers give the residents free bags which they will need to fill. Some suppliers may have already filled bags for sale. Below is a list of suppliers that the council provides empty bags to:


Indoor / Outdoor Builders Merchants, Cam
Tel:01453 546820
Sat Close 6pm
Sun Close 4pm
£2.99 for 24 kilo bag

J C Aldridge & Son Ltd
10 Market Place
Gloucestershire GL13 9BB
Tel: 01453 810223
£3.00 for 25 kilo bag

BuildIT, Wisloe Road, Cam, GL2 7AF
Tel: 01453 890 578
Mon - Fri : 7:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday : 8:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday : Closed
£2.50 for 25 kilo bag

Chalford Building Supplies, Chalford
Tel: 01453 732600
Sat Close 12 noon
£2.62 + VAT for 25 kilo bag

Moreton C. Cullimore (Gravels) Ltd. Whitminster
Tel: 01452 740326
Sat Close 11:45am
£27.00 per ton
£0.50 - £1 per sandbag
25kg plastic bags of sand including delivery - £1.50 +VAT can be purchased in bulk of 40 bags per pallet (up to 8 pallets per delivery)

Travis Perkins, Wallbridge
Tel: 01453 762194
Sat Close 12 noon
Sun Closed all day
£2.49 +VAT for 25 kilo bag

Allstone, Gloucester
Minimum 100 filled at £300.00 out of hours. Tel 01452 520853
Sat Close 5:30pm
Sun Close 1pm
Allstones will sell small quantities of filled sandbags at £2.50 +VAT per sandbag. If you are unable to collect from them, they will deliver for a charge. Please contact them to discuss.

Alternatively, you may wish to collect Free Empty Sandbags* from:

Stroud District Council, Ebley Mill, Ebley Wharf, Stroud, GL5 4UB.
During office hours. Tel: 01453 766321

One Stop Shop, Wotton-Under-Edge
Monday, Wednesday mornings and Friday. Tel: 01453 521659
Cam Parish Council. Tel: 01453 548884

*You will need to arrange for these bags to be filled

For advice out of office hours call: 01453 222104

If you use sandbags in the event of a flood, consider whether they could be reused and will likely be needed again in the near future. Once they need to be disposed of, spread the sand on your garden and dispose of the bag in your green refuse bin.

During a flood

Flooding presents a number of risks to health, drowning being the most obvious. Serious injury can be caused by falling into fast flowing water or from hidden dangers under the water. The stress of being flooded and cleaning up can have an impact on mental health and wellbeing.

If you think your home is at risk from flooding please telephone the Floodline on 0845 988 1188 who can give you up to date information on flood risk in your area. You can also find further information from the Environment Agency website.

  • Listen to local radio and Environment Agency Floodline bulletins (0845 988 1188) for up-to-date information on the flooding situation in your area
  • Collect personal belongings, including insurance and bank details, and essential telephone numbers together, and keep them in a waterproof bag;
  • Check on your neighbours - others around you may be less mobile.
  • If safe to do so, move people, pets and valuable belongings to a safe place - upstairs if possible.
  • Be prepared to turn off essential supplies - gas, electricity and water - at the mains.
  • Check your car and move it to high ground if safe to do so.
  • Make sure you have warm clothes, a First Aid Kit, any prescribed medication, food, drink, a torch plus spare batteries and a battery or clockwork powered radio.
  • If you think you should be trying to protect your property with sandbags, view where sandbags can be obtained.

If you have been flooded

  • You should contact your insurer as soon as possible after a property has been damaged. Most insurers have a 24-hour helpline. Claims staff will be able to give advice on the actions you need to take in certain circumstances, and may be able to give you the go-ahead for repair work to be commenced.
  • If you have to leave your house during the flood and subsequent repair, alternative accommodation must be reasonable and in keeping with your normal lifestyle. You should always obtain your insurer's approval before incurring any costs.
  • Once the flood waters have receded you should remove mud, clean and disinfect, and dry out your property. Where possible, you should seek professional advice as to how walls, furniture and carpets should be cleaned and dried out before any work is undertaken.
  • It is a good idea to take photographs of the damage. Any carpets, furniture or other goods that have been removed from your home should be retained until your insurer has agreed that they can be disposed of. If it is not possible to store or retain goods, every effort should be made to contact your insurer or their representative (loss adjuster) to obtain their agreement to the disposal of goods.
  • We will also collect any freezer contents spoilt by the floods, use the contact details above.

Further details about how to deal with a flood claim are available on the ABI's website

Flood Recovery - Insurance Advice

  • Claims can be made directly and free of charge to your insurer. They are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ) and they have to handle your claim fairly;
  • Free, independent advice is available face-to-face and by telephone from the Citizen's Advice Service;
  • The FSA and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are also useful places to turn to for further information on Insurance matters;
  • You should think carefully before enlisting a third party's help in progressing your insurance claim;
  • If you do decide to hire a third party - make sure you check how much it will cost you first as they may charge a share of any sum paid out by the insurer. You should also check that they are regulated by the FSA or are an exempt professional firm such as a law firm.

Cleaning up after a flood event

The Health Protection Agency have information on their website to help people whose property has been flooded please visit www.gov.uk/phe

Please refer to the Health Protection Agency leaflet for advice on cleaning up after a flood.

If you wish to remove your sandbags ensure you wear gloves when you handle sand bags in case they have been contaminated with sewage.

  • What can I do with my sandbags now the waters have subsided?
    We recommend householders, where possible, keep their sandbags for future use unless they have been contaminated with sewage.
  • My sandbags have been contaminated with sewage what shall I do with them?
    Please double bag your sand bags (bin liners can be used). Ensure you protect yourself by using gloves. Once sandbags are bagged they can be taken to your nearest household recycling centre for disposal.
  • I have gel filled sandbags what shall I do with them?
    These bags may be buried in the ground to decompose or you can take them along to one of the household recycling centres.
  • I have white absorbent ‘Nappy Sax' bags, what shall I do with them?
    These bags can be taken along to one of the household recycling centres for recycling.
  • Where is my nearest householder recycling centre?
    Household Recycling Centre,
    Pyke Quarry,
    Nr Horsley Two miles west of Horsley on the B4058 Wotton Under Edge Road.
    Open 7 days a week
    (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day)
    Opening hours: 9am – 6:15pm all year round
    Household Recycling Centre Helpline on 0845 602 9344

Flood Support Schemes - Help from Stroud District Council

Following the flooding events between December 2013 and March 2014 the government is supporting Stroud District Council to make the following assistance available to homes and businesses in Stroud District

Flood support schemes document: funding available from central government- PDF

Government guidance document available here - PDF

Further information for the individual schemes can be found below:

Council Tax Relief

Eligibility Criteria

  • Any property where residents had to evacuate the property because of flooding between 1st December 2013 and 31st March 2014

Length of Relief

  • Up to 3 month discount (90 days)

Application Process

  • If we have not already contacted you and think you may be eligible you can apply to: Benefits Team, Stroud District Council via phone: 01453 754865, email and in writing to Stroud District Council

Business Rate Relief

Eligibility criteria

For any day between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014:

  • the property has been flooded in whole or in part as a result of adverse weather conditions; and
  • on that day, as a result of the flooding at the property, the business activity undertaken at the property was adversely affected; and
  • the rateable value of the property on that day was less than £10 million.
Length of relief
  • Up to 3 month discount (90 days)
Application process
  • If we have not already contacted you and think you may be eligible you can apply to: Benefits Team, Stroud District Council via phone: 01453 754865, email and in writing to Stroud District Council
  • Applicants will need to complete a state aid form to confirm they are not receiving support over the limit

Business Support Scheme

Eligibility criteria

  • In accordance with criteria set by Government

What grant can be used for

  • Will be judged on a case by case basis based on Government guidelines

Max grant amount

  • £2,500 as suggested in Government guidance

Application process

  • The Council has contacted businesses we are aware of who may be eligible
  • If you think you may be eligible and the Council has not already contacted you apply direct to David Lesser, Water Resources Engineers at SDC via phone: 01453 754480, email and in writing to Stroud District Council

Repair and renewal grant

Eligibility criteria

  • Residential properties (including static caravans where primary residence) where habitable internal areas of the premise have been damaged by flooding between the 1st December 2013 and the 31st March 2014
  • Business (including social enterprise) and charitable organisation properties where internal areas of the premise which are critical to the day to day operations (i.e. not storage sheds or warehouses) have been damaged by flooding between the 1st December 2013 and the 31st March 2014

What grant can be used for

  • Up to £5,000 grant funding towards 100% of the costs (including VAT) of purchasing and installing appropriate flood resilience and/ or resistance measures. A full list of applicable measures is available on application

Max grant amount

  • £5,000

Application Process

  • The Council has contacted residents who we are aware of who may be eligible and have provided further information.
  • If we have not already contacted you and think you may be eligible you can apply to: David Lesser, Water Resources Engineer via phone: 01453 754480, email and in writing to Stroud District Council


Since October 2011 sewer ownership has altered so that the relevant water provider in your area will be responsible for the majority of sewers (even on private land) and for all lateral drains. The property owner will generally only be responsible for a drain on their land up to the property boundary or to its junction with a public sewer.

In summary, there are now three types of drainage system. These are called drains, lateral drains and public sewers and can be defined as follows:-

Drain – a wastewater pipe that serves just one property up to the property boundary or to where it becomes a public sewer.

Lateral drain – the part of the drain that is outside the property boundary.

Sewer – a wastewater pipe that serves more than one property. Sewers can either be:-
a) Public - owned and maintained by the water provider or
b) Private - owned and maintained by groups of individuals or organisations.

The contact details for the Water Providers serving Stroud District are:-

Severn Trent on 0800 783 4444 (most of the Stroud District) Wessex Water on 0845 600 4 600 (some areas in the South of our district)

There will occasionally be instances where neither the Water Provider or Stroud District Council will be responsible for maintenance of a drainage pipe. i.e where pipes are connected to a private treatment system such as a septic tank, soakaway or private treatment works. This also applies to other systems which do not connect to the public sewer, such as surface water pipes which discharge directly to a watercourse.

Drainage systems that are within the boundaries of a single, centrally managed site, for example, a shopping centre, block of flats, hospital, caravan park or industrial estate, will also not be publicly maintainable.

Stroud Rural Sustainable Drainage Project

  • The Stroud Rural SuDS Project is being implemented to reduce the risk of flooding in the Frome Valley. Visit the project pages here. www.stroud.gov.uk/rsuds

Keep updated with the latest flooding advice and weather warnings in our region