Flooding can be caused by a number of different events. You should consider the possibility of all of them when planning to protect your business.

Flooding can be caused by:

  • Flood water from rivers
  • Flood water from tides and storm surges
  • Surface runoff from land
  • Overflowing sewers
  • Burst pipes

Rivers, coastal waters and surface runoff

You can check if your property is at risk of flooding from rivers, coastal waters or surface runoff by using the flood maps for your area.

If there is a risk of flooding

In Northern Ireland you only need one number to report a flood.

0300 2000 100

When you ring, a member of staff will take all your details and contact the appropriate agency on your behalf. This is a non emergency number so if you are in danger call the emergency services on 999.

In Scotland you can sign up for flood warnings for your property. These are delivered direct to your phone when flooding is forecast.

SEPA: Flood warnings direct to your phone

Flooding from sewers

Flooding from sewers can be caused by heavy rainfall that overwhelms the drainage system. It can also be caused by blockages in the sewers that cause back up of effluent.

You can help prevent this by making sure that you never discharge anything into a sewer that could cause a blockage. This includes the disposal of used cooking oil from restaurants and food outlets. “Fat bergs” that result from fats and oils being disposed of down drains can block sewers and cause them to overflow.

You must have a trade effluent consent in place before you discharge anything to sewers and make sure you comply with its conditions.

Trade effluent: managing liquid waste

Burst pipes

Check the pipework in your business premises and see where there is a risk of pipes freezing.  You can reduce the risk by lagging water pipes and making sure that there is some heating on during very cold spells.

If premises are empty for a prolonged period during cold weather, you should consider turning off the water and draining pipes. If this is not possible then maintain heating and inspect the pipes at regular intervals.

Further information

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