Drains and watercourses


Highway drains are metal slotted grids that are found next to the kerb and drain water that collects on the public highway. They are also known as gullies. Sometimes these gullies are embedded in the kerb forming a metal box within the kerbstone.

Gulley maintenance

Each gulley is programmed for cleaning once a year.

  • gullies reported as blocked throughout the year will be logged and left until the normal annual visit unless they are causing a health and safety issue
  • gullies reported with missing/broken grates that are causing a danger to the public will be made safe as a matter of urgency and dealt with as soon as possible
  • gullies with broken grates that are not causing a danger to the public will be added to our programme for maintenance of non-urgent works

Report a flooded or blocked drain

Main drainage systems are the responsibility of Thames Water Utilities Limited 


Redbridge Council have permissive rights under the Land Drainage Act 1999 to ensure watercourses in its area are properly maintained irrespective of ownership.

Watercourses include rivers, streams, ditches, drains, cuts, culverts (piped sections), dikes, sluices and passages through which water flows.

Our main permissive rights are:

  • to ensure all watercourses in its area are maintained to a standard that allows water to flow through them freely
  • to inspect all works carried out to or within three metres of a watercourse regardless of its ownership status and insist on any changes needed to protect both upstream and downstream users

Land drainage approval must be applied for if any of the following conditions apply to any works you wish to carry out:

  • works that will affect or add flow to any open or piped watercourse
  • works to the embankments, ditch bottom or any part of a piped watercourse
  • works within 3 metres of any open or piped watercourse
  • works to connect new pipes or watercourses to an existing open or piped watercourse

Redbridge does not have a land drainage application form but any formal application for Land Drainage approval should contain:

  • a letter giving location and detailing the proposals
  • a location plan
  • a plan showing the details of the proposed works

If you wish to discuss Land Drainage in more detail please email highways.general@redbridge.gov.uk


Note that feedback relates only to this page and it's content. You can also feedback about the entire site.

For complaints or compliments, please go to Complaints or Compliments

Rate this page:

Thanks for your feedback