Road drains, gully cleaning and report flooding

We keep road drains and gullies clean and maintained to prevent flooding. Find out here how to report different types of road flooding.

If you need to request sandbags you can do this on our request sandbags page.

Reporting a flood

Road flooding issue Who is responsible
Blocked gullies (roadside drainage gratings); overflowing manholes (sumps) North Yorkshire Council - report blocked gullies here
Channels ('grips') in rural verges to allow water to run off the road; pipes and stone culverts; general road flooding North Yorkshire Council - report blocked channels here
Rivers The Environment Agency - a 24-hour Floodline advice and information service is provided
Roadside ditches and private sewers or drains The private landowners on each side of the ditch
Public sewers (including drains leading to public sewers in urban areas), burst water mains The local water authority - but in winter, please also report public sewers here
Car parks, amenity areas North Yorkshire Council
Do it online

Report a flooding issue

If you prefer, you can tell us about a flooding issue or blocked gully anonymously, but you will miss out on the benefits of having an account such as getting progress updates.

Not all roads are our responsibility

Motorways and trunk roads such as the A1, A1(M), M62, A66, A66(M), A64, A168 (Dishforth to Thirsk) and A19 (north of Thirsk) must be reported to National Highways.

In an emergency

If it's an emergency and poses a safety risk, contact us. Out of office hours, call North Yorkshire Police on 101. If there is danger to life, call 999.

Road drainage systems or gullies are intended to remove water efficiently from the surface of the highway to provide a safe passage for all vehicles and pedestrians and to prevent structural damage to the road.

We regularly inspect and maintain road gullies we are responsible for every year. They are cleared or repaired in order of priority, depending on:

  • the type of road (classified or unclassified)
  • the importance of the drain to preventing the road or properties from being flooded or ice forming on the road in winter
  • available funding

More information 

Frequently asked questions

Can I connect a private drain to the highway drainage system?

It is illegal to discharge drainage directly on to the highway or to connect private drainage into any highway drainage system.

If you intend to carry out any alterations to drainage, or make changes in land use which might result in surface water discharging on to the highway, or increased flows in highway drainage, you must consult us.

How are road drainage systems maintained?

Keeping gullies clean and fully operational is our responsibility. Blocked and damaged roadside drains can cause a hazard to highway users, particularly during periods of heavy rain.

Our approach to highway flooding is one of both proactive and reactive maintenance.

  • highway gullies are programmed for regular cleaning, which checks that they are fully functioning; this cleaning can also involve water pressure jetting to clear associated pipework
  • gullies reported as blocked will be logged and left until the planned visit unless they are causing a health and safety issue
  • gullies reported with missing/broken grates will be added to our programme for maintenance of non-urgent works unless they are causing a danger to the public, in such cases they will be dealt with as soon as practicable
  • we maintain a database of reported trouble spots where problems reported either by members of the public or by council operatives are kept; these problems are prioritised in accordance with a standard procedure until investigative and remedial works are able to be carried out when maintenance budgets permit

It must be remembered that problems can occur even when drainage provisions are clean and well maintained, for example as a result of:

  • exceptional rainfall
  • a road being in a low lying area
  • changes in 'run off' from adjoining land
  • rivers overflowing
  • material carried into drains by floods