Our responsibilities

We ensure that:

  • regular maintenance is carried out on the flood defences and channels, which we own or for which we accept responsibility, to ensure that as far as possible, they are able to operate at optimum efficiency
  • where responsibility for maintenance rests with the landowner(s), we secure co-operation in ensuring the appropriate maintenance takes place, drawing on enforcement powers if necessary

We do not have a capital programme for flood alleviation works. However where schemes are identified for such works, we record these as project briefs for future consideration.

Environment Agency and Landowners (riparian landowners)

All watercourses (excluding main rivers in Mid Devon and those on land owned by us), are the responsibility of the landowner(s) through which the watercourse passes. If you see a problem with a watercourse, please contact us in the first instance. We can then inspect the watercourse and notify the appropriate persons.

Problems with rivers must be reported to the Environment Agency.

Public sewers

Public sewers are the responsibility of South West Water.

Private drainage, cesspits and septic tanks

Blockages in private sewers and drains are the individual home owner's responsibility. If you have a complaint concerning effluent from overflowing or leaking cesspools, please contact our Environmental Health team. Please also refer to our webpages on Contaminated land.

If the overflow is to a watercourse, please call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Highway drainage

The drainage of public roads via roadside gullies/gratings and ditches is the responsibility of Devon County Council. See Devon County Council Highways - Flooding and drainage or telephone 0345 155 1004.

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