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Your flood risk

Types of Flood Risk

River flooding happens when a river cannot cope with the amount of water draining into it from the surrounding land. Sea flooding happens when there are high tides and stormy conditions. The Environment Agency provides flood warning for some areas are risk. You can check if flood warnings are available to you at
Surface water flooding can occur when the ground is unable to cope with large amounts of rainfall. This results in water flowing and pooling, posing a risk to people. This type of flooding is typically localised and happens quickly after the rainfall, making it difficult to provide flood warnings to residents.

Flood Risk Mapping

Flood risk maps have been made to help you understand your flood risk and be prepared for flooding. They use the latest data, technology and modelling techniques to understand how likely it is to flood where you live. You can view your risk of flooding from all sources on the Environment Agency website.
To understand local flood risk from surface water we have produced a number of Surface Water Management Plans (SWMPs) in urban areas identified as high risk. SWMPs are produced with the involvement of key partners such as Anglian Water, Environment Agency, Thames Water and local councils. A SWMP will help:
  • People understand their local flood risk
  • Develop schemes to reduce flood risk
  • Aid emergency plans
  • Local Plan development
  • Inform future development
  • Feed into drainage maintenance strategies 
  • Encourage better land-use planning
A SWMP also allow us to meet requirement from the Flood Risk Directive and the Water Framework Directive. 

SWMP have been conducted  in the areas of:

  • Chelmsford
  • Maldon
  • Harlow
  • Brentwood
  • Basildon
  • Rochford
  • Castle point
  • Colchester

They are also planned project for 2015-2016 in: 

  • Loughton
  • Braintree
  • Witham
For more information about your surface water flood risk please contact the Flood and Water Management team at

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