Background - Drainage

Flood prevention

Click on the icons below to read more about what can be done to help reduce the impacts of flooding.

Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, community or landowner there are a whole host of ways to help reduce the impacts of flooding and protect your property and land. By exploring the images below you’ll be able to see what’s out there to buy and also what you can do at home or together as a community.

So click on the tabs in the images below and take a step closer to becoming flood resilient!

Things the community and landowners can do

REDUCE SOIL COMPACTION: Compacted soil will increase the amount and speed of water runoff from the land, will increase soil erosion and decrease the soil’s productivity. Avoid working the land, heavy machinery and high stocking densities when it’s wet to reduce compaction of the soil.
DITCH CLEARANCE: Maintaining ditches by removing any accumulated silt, cutting grass, maintaining any trees or shrubs on the banks and removing any debris, reduces flow of runoff across land, so limiting soil erosion and flooding.
CONTOUR PLOUGHING: Ploughing across a slope rather than down the slope reduces the rate at which runoff flows off land, reducing the risk of flooding and limiting soil erosion.
WATERCOURSE MAINTENANCE: Maintaining watercourses by removing any accumulated silt, maintaining vegetation on the banks and removing any debris from the watercourse or structures, ensures that the watercourse is in best condition to cope with heavy rainfall and reduce the risk of flooding.
BRIDGE INSPECTION: Authority-owned structures like bridges, culverts and grilles/trash-screens are normally inspected regularly, but private or community-owned structures also need to be checked for any blockages, build up of silt or signs of damage.
FLOOD DEFENCES: Land owners or communities may be responsible for maintaining existing defences on their land as riparian owners. Communities may also be able to raise funds towards the construction of new flood defences where they are proven as needed to defend properties.

There are a vast number of ways to help reduce the risk of flooding to your community and so, in turn, to help reduce the risk of flooding to your own home. By acting as a community using the information in the points above, you’ll feel better prepared when heavy rainfall and flooding eventually come.

Our How to become a flood resilient community pages also have a lot of information, so why not take a look there as well?

Otherwise read more about what your community responsibilities are and how to make these happen in our Flood related roles of Parish Councils and Communities guide found in the Flood Library.

Things a home owner can do

Reduce soil compaction:<\/strong> Compacted soil will increase the amount and speed of water runoff from the land, will increase soil erosion and decrease the soil\u2019s productivity. Avoid working the land, heavy machinery and high stocking densities when it\u2019s wet to reduce compaction of the soil.","openDesFontSize":"14","openDesFontColor":"rgb(0, 0, 0)","tempCommonFontSize":"13","tempCommonFontColor":"rgb(0, 72, 58)","tempCommonBgColor":"rgb(255, 255, 255)","tem02EmbeddedLink":"","customeHtmlCode":"","customeCssCode":"","customeCodePopup":"=\"\"AABBAA","popupCustomHtml":"Reduce soil compaction:<\/strong> Compacted soil will increase the amount and speed of water runoff from the land, will increase soil erosion and decrease the soil\u2019s productivity. Avoid working the land, heavy machinery and high stocking densities when it\u2019s wet to reduce compaction of the soil.","popupCustomCss":"","popupCustomCodeWidth":"400","customIconLinkType":"2","elementType":1,"xPos":"21.73","yPos":"19.71","tWidth":"1178.35","iconWidth":"30"}' class='imh-6310-drag imh-6310-point-2-1' style='display: none'>
PROTECT BASEMENTS: Basements or cellars may be at risk of flooding from rising groundwater levels. They can be sealed using a 'tanking' system to make them completely waterproof. Basements may also need a pump for any water that seeps through.
PROTECT ENTRY POINTS FOR DRAINS, PIPES AND CABLES: Small holes where pipes and cables go through walls can allow flood water into a property. Sealant or other products can be used to block up these gaps.
PROTECT DOORWAYS: Doorways are the most obvious route for flood water to enter a building. Purpose-built doors are available which are entirely flood-proof, or removable barriers can be installed against the door opening.
PROTECT EXTERNAL WALLS: Some house constructions may allow flood water to seep through the walls, damaging the building. External walls can be rendered or sealed with a range of products to make them more water-proof. Brick buildings may also need to be re-pointed.
PROTECT AIR BRICKS: There are two ways of protecting air bricks from allowing flood water into a property. Temporary covers can be fitted over the air bricks in time of flood, or new air bricks can be installed which are flood proof.
PROTECT GARAGES: Garages may be attached to the property by a door and therefore represent a key route for flood water to enter the property. Garages themselves may also store valuable equipment which could be damaged by flooding. Garages can have barriers installed to prevent floodwater entering and protect equipment.

You can buy flood protection measures for your home, such as door barriers, air brick covers or pumps, from a number of different providers. 

Northamptonshire County Council’s downloadable Flood Mitigation Measures guide provides a list of different products you can purchase from around the UK and includes a brief description of each along with a suggested cost, or why not take a look at the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign’s Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Resilience

You may also want to take a look at our How to protect your home from flooding guide in the Flood Library for more information on what you can do to help reduce or stop the damage from flood water.

Sign up to Flood Warnings Direct

Things a business can do

PROTECT AIR BRICKS: There are two ways of protecting air bricks from allowing flood water into a property. Temporary covers can be fitted over the air bricks in time of flood, or new air bricks can be installed which are flood proof.
PROTECT DOORWAYS: Doorways are the most obvious source for flood water to enter a building. Purpose-built doors are available which are entirely flood-proof, or removable barriers can be installed against the door opening.
Reduce soil compaction:<\/strong> Compacted soil will increase the amount and speed of water runoff from the land, will increase soil erosion and decrease the soil\u2019s productivity. Avoid working the land, heavy machinery and high stocking densities when it\u2019s wet to reduce compaction of the soil.","openDesFontSize":"14","openDesFontColor":"rgb(0, 0, 0)","tempCommonFontSize":"13","tempCommonFontColor":"rgb(0, 72, 58)","tempCommonBgColor":"rgb(255, 255, 255)","tem02EmbeddedLink":"","customeHtmlCode":"","customeCssCode":"","customeCodePopup":"=\"\"AABBAA","popupCustomHtml":"Reduce soil compaction:<\/strong> Compacted soil will increase the amount and speed of water runoff from the land, will increase soil erosion and decrease the soil\u2019s productivity. Avoid working the land, heavy machinery and high stocking densities when it\u2019s wet to reduce compaction of the soil.","popupCustomCss":"","popupCustomCodeWidth":"400","customIconLinkType":"2","elementType":1,"xPos":"58.56","yPos":"16.77","tWidth":"1178.35","iconWidth":"30"}' class='imh-6310-drag imh-6310-point-3-3' style='display: none'>
PROTECT BASEMENTS: Basements or cellars may be at risk of flooding from rising groundwater levels. They can be sealed using a 'tanking' system to make them completely waterproof. Basements may also need a pump for any water that seeps through.
SUMP AND PUMP: Built-in sumps with pumps are used for removal of flood water that enters a building. They can be used for seepage of groundwater into basements or for removing leakage through flood-resistance products.
PROTECT LOW WINDOWS: Similar to doorways, there are purpose-built windows that have been designed to be flood-proof, or removable barriers can be installed against window openings. Note that some buildings cannot withstand flood water deeper than 0.3m/1ft.
PERIMETER DEFENCES: Standalone permanent defences around the perimeter of the building or land protect a larger area and do not rely on the strength of the building to hold back flood water.

If you’re a business owner we have more information available in our Flood Advice for Businesses guide, so have a read to find out how to reduce your risk of flooding. 

You could also take a 10 minute self assessment of your business using our Business Continuity Planning – Self Assessment produced in partnership with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Sign up to Flood Warnings Direct

Find our about Flood Funding

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