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Surface Water Management Plans
The term 'surface water' covers flooding directly from rainfall, but it also includes flooding caused from rainfall in other ways including groundwater flooding, rainfall runoff and ordinary watercourses.
Surface water flooding can occur when large amounts of rainfall cannot be absorbed into the ground, rivers or drains. When this happens, water will flow and accumulate on the ground, rather than beneath it. This type of flooding is typically localised and happens quickly after the rain has fallen, making it difficult to provide flood warnings to residents. 
Working closely with the Environment Agency, Anglian Water, Thames Water local councils and with support from engineering consultants URS/Scott Wilson & Capita Symonds and JBA Consulting, to find better ways to manage local flood risk.
As part of the process, a South Essex Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) has been produced for the administrative areas of Basildon Borough, Castle Point Borough and Rochford District.  A second SWMP for Harlow is nearing completion and four further studies have been commissioned this financial year for Maldon, Colchester, Chelmsford and Brentwood.  
Surface Water Management Plans will help Essex County Council and key local partners with responsibilities for surface water and drainage understand the causes of surface water flooding, identify areas in Essex at risk and through partnership working prioritise areas for future detailed studies and alleviation work.

Use of surface water flood mapping within the report and appendices

Please note that these maps only show the predicted likelihood of surface water flooding (this includes flooding from sewers, drains, small watercourses and ditches that occurs in extreme rainfall events) for defined areas, and due to the nature of the source data used, are not detailed enough to account for precise addresses. Individual properties therefore may not always face the same chance of flooding as the areas that surround them. There may also be particular occasions when flooding occurs and the observed pattern of flooding does not in reality match the predicted patterns shown on these maps.

We have taken reasonable measures to ensure that the maps reflect all the data we possess and in good faith have applied our knowledge to create reasonable conclusions. It is essential that anyone using these maps fully understands the complexity of the data utilised in production of the maps, is aware of the limitations and does not use the maps in isolation.
Users of these maps should refer to the relevant page in each Surface Water Management Plan Report for a complete description of the limitations and accuracy of the flood or hazard extents shown.
These maps provide strategic overview of surface water flood risk and may be subject to further analysis in the future.
All intellectual property rights in the data and information on this web site are owned by the Essex County Council or are licensed from other 3rd party data providers.
If you have any questions about the Surface Water Management plans, please call 01245 430 469 or email

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