Corporate Responsibility

Sewer flooding incidents.

Last reviewed:
Sewer flooding can occur when the sewer network becomes overwhelmed during intensive rainfall, or because of a blockage or collapse. Sewer flooding can have a catastrophic effect on customers’ homes and livelihoods, as well as posing an environmental risk.

The problem.

Although our sewer networks are largely in good condition, the combined effects of urbanisation, climate change, population growth, modern lifestyles and an ageing infrastructure mean many networks handle much larger volumes of wastewater than they were originally built for. In addition, sewer abuse - when the wrong things are put down the drain - also poses a challenge for our network.

We saw an improvement in our sewer flooding performance during 2017/18, with a 12 per cent reduction in sewer flooding incidents. In 2017/18, 1062 properties suffered sewer flooding due to blockages, collapses or equipment failure – less than the previous year. In 2016/17, 1106 properties experienced incidents of internal sewer flooding due to other causes.

We’ve continued to be proactive in our approach with sewer cleaning, and letting our customers know what they can do to help stop sewer flooding. This information can be found in the preventing sewer flooding section of our website.

Click on the case studies below to read more about the monster Whitechapel fatberg and how we’re proactively engaging with food businesses about responsibly managing and disposing of waste fats, oils and grease (FOG) to help reduce blockages and sewer flooding.