Land drainage

Under the Land Drainage Act 1991 various bodies have an interest in land drainage including the Environment Agency, Local Authorities and Riparian owners. Each has a role to play in the mitigation of flooding.

Councils are not responsible for providing or maintaining land drainage not located on their own land. They may however take action about land drainage on other land where drainage defects such as the poor maintenance of watercourses may be likely to lead to flooding.

If you own land or property next to a river or other watercourse, you need to have a clear understanding of your legal obligations and responsibilities.

Read owning a watercourse on GOV.UK, to find out your responsibilities and rules to follow for watercourses on or near your property, and permissions you need to do work around them.

Last updated: Monday, 24 May, 2021.