Here's the information you need about flooding in Lambeth, who's responsible and how you can report incidents.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Flooding in Lambeth

As a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, the London Borough of Lambeth has responsibilities for:

  • investigating and reporting major flooding incidents
  • managing flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses (i.e. non main rivers)
  • producing a local flood risk management strategy
  • consenting works on ordinary water courses
  • enforcing works to maintain the flow on ordinary water courses

Since 15 April 2015 all LLFAs became a statutory consultee on surface water flood risk and management for all major development planning applications. (See ministerial statement on Sustainable Drainage Systems: Written statement – HCHS161). Lambeth Council expects the surface water drainage system of all new development to adhere to the requirements of the NPPF and PPG, the Non-statutory Technical Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems, Lambeth Local Plan (policies EN5 and EN6), and the London Plan (Policies 5.12 and 5.13). In doing so, new development will positively contribute to the reduction in flood risk to the borough.


For more reports and documents on flood risk within Lambeth please see: Flood Risk Assessment

2. Types of flooding

To see the current flood warnings, a 5-day flood risk forecast, check river levels or to see whether your property or business is in an area at risk of flooding, visit the Environment Agency's Flood Information Service. You can also sign up to their free flood alerts.

Flooding from Rivers

Flooding from rivers, such as the River Thames is referred to as fluvial or tidal where the river is influenced by the tide. Flood zones are defined for each river, outlining the different flood risk and defences that are in place to protect communities from fluvial or tidal flooding. Flooding from rivers is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. Find out if your property is at risk.

Surface water flooding

Surface water flooding occurs when rainwater does not drain away through the normal drainage systems or soak into the ground, but lies on or flows over the ground instead. Lambeth Council, as a Lead Local Flood Authority, has a responsibility to manage risk from surface water flooding. Find out if your property is at risk. Maps of surface water flood risk areas are also available on the Environment Agency website. Find out how Depaving can reduce the risk of surface water flooding.

Groundwater Flooding

Groundwater flooding happens when levels of water in the ground rise above the surface. It can affect property and structures above and below the ground. It is most likely to happen in areas where the ground contains aquifers. These are permeable rocks that water can soak into or pass through. Lambeth Council, as a Lead Local Flood Authority, has a responsibility to manage risk from Groundwater flooding.

Sewer Flooding

Sewer flooding happens when sewers are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall or when they become blocked. The chance of flooding depends on the capacity of the local sewerage system and the amount of rain that falls. Thames Water Utilities Ltd, as the water and sewerage undertaker, is responsible for managing the flood risk from public sewers in Lambeth.

Highways Flooding

Highways authorities provide and manage highway drainage and roadside ditches. They are responsible for managing surface water flood risk on roads through maintenance of the highway drainage system Lambeth Council and Transport for London Red Routes are responsible for managing the flood risk from highways in Lambeth.

3. Reporting a flooding incident

In an emergency, dial 999 if you're in immediate danger.

If you require advice on how to deal with flooding please visit the Flood information service or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 (call charges may apply).

Flooding from the public highway

Call Lambeth Highways Authority on 020 7926 9000, or email

This includes blocked highway drains and gullies, or for flooding resulting from water runoff from the highway.

Flooding from red routes

Transport for London (TfL) are responsible for managing red routes. Please contact TfL on 0343 222 1234 (24-hour), or report it online via the TfL website.

Flooding from surface runoff, groundwater or small ditches

To report flooding to a property please contact Lambeth’s call centre on 020 7926 9000 (24-hour). Although our number is 24 hours, our flood risk officer only works Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm, so please expect a response during these times.

For non-urgent response relating to property flooding, please email: Reports of road drainage issues will not be responded to by this email account.

Flooding from public sewers

Call Thames Water Utilities Limited on 0845 9200 800 (24-hour)

Flooding from burst water main or pipe leak

Call Thames Water Utilities Limited on 0800 714 614 (24-hour). Or, you can report a leak via the Thames Water website.

Flooding from main rivers (River Thames & River Graveney)

Report to the Environment Agency by calling 0800 80 70 60 (24-hour), or email for a non-urgent response.

4. Reducing the risk of flooding in your home

There are a range of steps you can take to prepare for a flooding event. CIRIA have produced a range of helpful factsheets on flood resilience.

Flood Re is a joint initiative between the Insurance Industry and the Government that was introduced in April 2016 and aims to bring more affordable insurance to those who suffer from or are at risk of flooding. For more information on Flood Re and to find out how to determine whether your property or business qualifies then visit the Flood Re website. Other general advice on flooding insurance can be found at the Association of British Insurers website.