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  Flood and water management in Essex

30 October 2014

Essex County Council is responsible for preparing a strategy for flooding from surface water and assisting a partnership approach to local flooding issues across the county affecting people and property. It is also a Highway Authority, responsible for the drainage of highways.
The Environment Agency is responsible for dealing with coastal flooding and flooding from main rivers. 
Canvey Island Flooding – 20th July 2014
In response to the Canvey Island flooding incident in July 2014, the Secretary of State for Defra asked the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser to provide a review of the Essex County Council Section 19 investigation report.
This Peer Group review was developed by various experts in the field convened by the Government Office for Science and provides some useful recommendations for better management of the event and future study or works.
The Section 19 Flood Investigation Report, which was undertaken in consultation with Castle Point Borough Council, Environment Agency and Anglian Water is available here.
If you have been affected by other forms of flooding you may find our Who to contact page useful.


 14 February 2014: Councillor Bass watches IWJS’s water recycling jetting lorry cleanse over 400m of pipework
 Under our Highway Authority duties we deal with surface water drainage on roads and pavements on the public highway. Every year we aim to cleanse all 230,000 drains throughout the county.
In bad weather our crews carry out pumping of flooded areas, clearing of debris and provide assistance to partner organisations. On 10 February 2014, Essex County Council released £1m of emergency funding to tackle road flooding across the county.

Reporting a problem

Blocked gullies and highway drainage issues can be reported via the ‘Report a Problem’ page at or by calling 0845 603 7631.
Travel information on highways in Essex is also available at and on Twitter at @Essex_Travel.





As a Lead Local Flood Authority, Essex County Council have wider responsibilities to investigate flood incidents in certain circumstances, regulate the maintenance of watercourses with landowners, and work in partnership with other authorities involved in flood risk management to mitigate local risks.

We seek Flood Defence Grant Aid for alleviation projects wherever possible. We are already working on projects and have a number of sites on our forward plan.

The Council also has a duty to ensure it has in place a Civil Protection and Emergency Management (ECPEM) capability under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

We do this via a partnership with Essex County Fire and Rescue which is headed up by the Chief Fire Officer.
The duty and functions are to ensure that ECC is prepared for, and can respond to and recover from, any emergencies within Essex that has affected its communities.
ECPEM assists and supports ECC in the development and delivery of a co-ordinated response for all of its services and has put structures in place to manage any emergency.
ECPEM will also where necessary, support and provide technical advice to senior officials if a multi-agency strategic coordination centre (SCG) is established by Essex Police. 

Further information