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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.


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.