The Environment Agency is a lead Risk Management Authority in flood risk management. Section 165 of the Water Resources Act (1991) appoints permissive powers related to Main Rivers to the Environment Agency, including the maintenance and improvement of existing works as well as the construction of new works. The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 also gives responsibility for the management of river flooding to the Environment Agency. River flood risk is mapped in different Flood Zones with the following risk boundaries:
- Flood Zone 3: Areas with a greater than 1 in 100 years (>1%) annual probability of river flooding
- Flood Zone 2: Areas with an annual probability of river flooding between 1 in 100 years and 1 in 1,000 years (1% to 0.1%)
- Flood Zone 1: Areas with less than a 1 in 1000 years (<0.1%) annual probability of river flooding
The Main Rivers within the borough of Redbridge are:
- River Roding
- Cran Brook (tributary of the River Roding)
- Seven Kings Water and Loxford Water (tributary of the River Roding)
The Environment Agency performs regular maintenance activities, including the inspection of any flood risk assets for debris build up. Under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), the Environment Agency is also regarded as a Category One Responder.
London Borough of Redbridge
Redbridge has multiple roles and functions, including as a Highway Authority, an LLFA (Lead Local Flood Authority), a landowner and a Category One Responder.
As a Highway Authority, Redbridge is responsible for maintaining any highway assets on adopted roads which are not on the Strategic Road Network (which is managed by TfL). Highway drainage, such as drains, kerbs, road gullies, ditches and pipes, have to be managed and routinely inspected to ensure that highway runoff on and from highways is well managed. Redbridge’s highway drainage responsibilities include highway gullies and pipework up to the point it connects to the public sewer network, where it becomes Thames Waters responsibility. Whilst some gullies may be blocked, during storm events such as in July 2021 public sewers struggle to cope with the amount of rainwater which leads to flooding on the roads and pavements.
The council has duties under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 upon which it is appointed as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA). The act requires the LLFA to undertake investigations for flooding incidents and events.
The act states on becoming aware of a flood in its area, a lead local flood authority must, to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate, investigate:
(a) which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions, and
(b) whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised, or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood.
Where an authority carries out an investigation under subsection (1) it must:
(a) publish the results of its investigation, and
(b) notify any relevant risk management authorities.
You can read more about the councils responsibilities on GOV.UK
Thames Water is the regional water and sewerage company responsible for managing the risk of flooding from sewers including surface water, foul and combined sewer systems. Under Section 94 of the Water Industry Act (1991), Thames Water have a duty to inspect, maintain, and repair their sewers and other drainage assets. Thames Water should advise the council about any works being carried out and provide a platform for which sewer flooding incidents can be reported by residents.
Thames Water is also a clean water provider in Redbridge and is responsible for mitigating water main leaks including reinstatement of the public highway if any damage occurs.
Landowners have the primary responsibility of safeguarding their own land and property against flooding. Common law also enables landowners to take reasonable measures to protect their property from flooding, provided the measures do not cause harm to others or other neighbouring properties. Landowners adjacent to water courses or with water courses flowing through them are responsible for ensuring that any structures on their land linked to a neighbouring watercourse is kept clear of debris and the watercourse can flow naturally.
Transport for London (TfL)
TfL are responsible for managing the operation of the public transport network across London and the drainage of surface water of red routes of their Strategic Road Network. TfL’s red routes within the borough are the following:
- A113 - Charlie Brown’s roundabout
- A12 - Eastern Avenue
- A12 - Gants Hill roundabout
- A12 - Redbridge roundabout
- A1400 - Southend Road
- A1400 - Woodford Avenue
- A406 - North Circular Road
- A406 - Southend Road (North Circular Road)
If you notice blocked gullies or flooding on these roads please report them to TfL on 0343 222 1234.