What to do and who to contact if you have problems.

Land drainage

A landowner is responsible for the drainage of their land.

By law a person owning lower-level land has to accept natural land drainage water (that is spring water, ground water or surface water run-off) from adjacent land at a higher level.

In the case of ditches, streams and rivers it is the landowners each side of the watercourse (known as “riparian owners”) who are responsible for the maintenance of the watercourse itself and the flow within it.

Certain important streams and watercourses, known as Main Rivers are the responsibility of the Environment Agency to maintain water flow and carry out flood defence works.

The term ‘Main River’ does not reflect the actual size of the watercourse but the overall effect of that watercourse on the drainage system of the area.

The landowner is still responsible for the physical maintenance of any watercourse known as a Main River.

Main Rivers for the Mole Valley area are:

  • The River Mole
  • The Pipp Brook
  • The Rye Brook
  • The Bents Brook
  • The Whithey Brook
  • The Dolby Brook

The Environment Agency provides comprehensive guidance on land drainage and riparian responsibilities.

Sewage and drains

The responsibility for maintaining and cleansing the sewerage network depends on whether they are

  • drains
  • private sewers
  • public sewers

Contact Thames Water about drains and sewers on 0800 316 9800.

For Southern Water‘s 24 hour service, call 0845 278 0845.