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Flooding Information

Flooding and Scottish Water’s responsibilities

To report a flooding incident which appears to be contaminated with sewage phone our Customer Helpline on 0800 0778 778. To find out more about waste water flooding, you can view/download further information here.

Contact your Local Authority if the flood appears to be from road drainage.

Scottish Water is working with key partners to reduce the impact of flooding. The responsibilities surrounding flooding are varied, and at present a number of agencies have responsibility for dealing with different aspects of flooding in Scotland.

Conventional urban drainage systems are made up of a complex network of sewer pipes, overflows, gullies, burns and culverts (covered watercourses). Ownership and duties are split between various agencies and landowners.

Scottish Water has the public drainage duty and is responsible for the drainage of rainwater run-off (surface water) from roofs and any paved ground surface within the property boundary. Private pipework or guttering within the property boundary remains the responsibility of the homeowner. Additionally, Scottish Water helps to protect homes from flooding caused by sewers either overflowing or becoming blocked.

Local Authorities are responsible for the drainage of local roads and public highways. The local authorities are responsible for dealing with tidal and river flooding and flooding caused by extreme rainfall. They are also responsible for providing flood defences and maintaining watercourses.

The Scottish Government is responsible for motorway and major trunk roads drainage through Transport Scotland. The Government is responsible for making national policy on planning, flood prevention and flood warning.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is responsible for providing flooding advice and flood warnings that can be found on their website

The complex nature of flooding, with many agencies responsible for different aspects of sewer and drainage systems in communities, means that a partnership approach is needed to tackle this serious problem.

Scottish Water, the Scottish Government, SEPA, CoSLA and the Scottish Flood Forum have pulled together to offer the following information:

Flooding: What we do and who can help (pdf), offers helpful advice on what to do during and after flooding and contact numbers for each Council area.

Flooding: A multi agency approach (pdf) - an update on the partnership approach to flooding

We worked in partnership with the Scottish Government, SEPA and Local Authorities on the new Flood Risk Management Bill which will reduce overall flood risk and improve how Scotland deals with all types of flooding in the future.

New Flood Maps for Scotland

As part of its duties under the new Flood Risk Management (FRM) Act, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published a new set of maps to replace the Indicative River and Coastal Flood Map. 

The maps, which have been developed in partnership with local authorities and Scottish Water, provide indicative information and enable the identification of communities at risk of flooding. They are designed to be used to raise public awareness and understanding as well as to support decision making for flood risk management and land use planning.

Click here for further information on the new flood maps.

Consultation: Draft Flood Risk Management Strategies and Plans

Information contributing to the delivery of the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 (FRM Act) will be available for review from Monday 22 December 2014. This information contributes towards Scotland’s first Flood Risk Management Strategies and Local Flood Risk Management Plans. These coordinated plans will help us to make the most effective use of shared resources by targeting areas where the greatest benefit of intervention can be realised.

For each Local Plan District, a Flood Risk Management Strategy will be published by SEPA in December 2015. This consultation, delivered in two phases, publishes draft information that will be contained in each Flood Risk Management Strategy. Phase one will include a summary of the main sources and impacts of flooding in the Local Plan Districts. Phase two, commencing on Monday 2 March 2015, will include draft local flood risk management objectives and actions, as well as information on the draft Local Flood Risk Management Plans.

The consultation will open on Monday 22 December 2014 and will close on Tuesday 2 June 2015. The preferred route for responses is through the online consultation facility, If required, representations may be made in writing to:
SEPA, Flood Risk Management Consultation, Angus Smith Building, 6 Parklands Avenue Eurocentral, Holytown, North Lanarkshire, ML1 4WQ

Hard copies of the documents and questions will be available to view in selected SEPA offices. Selected sections may be translated by SEPA on request if required.

For further information contact or call SEPA’s contact centre on 03000 99 66 99.


We are starting to develop Surface Water Management Plans for urban areas to reduce the impact of flooding, in Glasgow this is being done through the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership.