London Borough of Croydon

Land drainage is the system that deals with the natural flow of water from the land. Generally, individual owners are responsible for their own land and for accepting and dealing with the natural flows from adjoining land.

Flows are generally transferred by ditches, streams, culverts and other watercourses including main rivers. The owners of land through which a watercourse passes are responsible for their maintenance and are known as Riparian Owners, who acquire certain rights and responsibilities over the watercourse.

Drains are pipes that carry waste and surface water from one or more houses. When one drain meets another it becomes a sewer. These are not the same as the gullies or grids in roads that take water off the highway.

The council has responsibility for ensuring that the flow of land drainage in a watercourse is not impaired. In the case of main rivers (for example, the River Wandle, Norbury Brook, South Norwood Stream, Chaffinch Brook, St. James Stream and The Beck), this responsibility rests with the Environment Agency.

In the event of problems contact the council on the number below.


Environmental services

020 8726 6200