Flooding is a natural phenomenon, and the adverse effects of flooding can be made worse by poor management of the landscape and both the built and natural environment.
The risk of flooding is always with us, and whilst this is usually on a minor scale, the North Ceredigion floods of 2012 and coastal flooding of early 2014 reminded us that flooding incidents can also be on a major scale.
The nature of flood risk within Ceredigion is extremely varied and widespread across the county. Ceredigion has an extensive coast, a network of rivers, high and low lying land, and numerous river valleys, which, when combined with a few urbanised areas, means it is at risk of flooding from a variety of different sources.
The main sources of flood risk include:
- Surface water flooding - when high intensity rainfall generates runoff which flows over the surface in low lying areas. It is usually associated with high intensity rainfall and can be exacerbated when the ground is either saturated or too dry to accept water, or when the drainage network has insufficient capacity to cope with the additional flow
- Groundwater flooding - when water levels in the ground rise above the ground surface. Flooding of this type tends to occur after long periods of sustained heavy rainfall and can last for weeks or even months
- River flooding - when a watercourse cannot cope with the volume of water that is flowing into it. Rivers are categorised into ‘Main Rivers’ and ‘Ordinary Watercourses’. Main rivers are usually large watercourses but also include smaller watercourses of strategic drainage importance
- Coastal flooding - usually occurs during storm surges when there is an increased risk of high sea levels causing overtopping or breaching of coastal flood defences. The greatest risk of coastal flooding is experienced when there is a combination of high tides and a storm surge
- Sewer flooding – flooding that occurs when the sewer network cannot cope with the volume of water that is entering it or when pipes within the network become blocked. This type of flooding is often experienced during times of heavy rainfall when large amounts of surface water overwhelm the sewer network causing flooding
- Highway flooding - flooding caused by heavy rainfall or water overflowing from blocked or overloaded drains, soakaways and gullies causing water to pond within the highway network
The following give guidance on who to contact for various types of flooding:
Flooding from Sewers
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water own and manage the network of public foul and surface water sewers. To report a blocked, surcharging or overflowing public sewer, you should call Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Customer Services on 08000853968.
Flooding from Private Sewers or Drains
If your private drains or sewers are overflowing, it is your responsibility to appoint a drainage contractor to deal with any blockage.
Flooding from the Public Highway
For flooding from the public highway or to report blocked road gullies, please contact Ceredigion County Council on the details provided here.
Flooding from a Main River
Overseeing the management of Main Rivers is the responsibility of Natural Resources Wales, and they have a network of river gauges and monitoring stations which enables them to alert the public in times of potential river flooding. To report flooding from a Main River you should contact Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000.
Flooding from Ordinary Watercourses
Ceredigion County Council has a statutory responsibility for managing flood risk but the responsibility and maintenance of ordinary watercourses rest with the Riparian Owner. You are a riparian owner if your property or land is on, or very near, a watercourse. Further information on the rights and responsibilities of a Riparian Owner are contained under the Watercourse Maintenance tab.
Flooding from the Sea
Overseeing the risk of flooding from the rests with Natural Resources Wales. By monitoring sea conditions, weather data and tidal reports from the Met Office, they can provide local area forecasts on the possibility of flooding and its likely severity. To report flooding from the sea you should contact Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000.
If your property is located on a flood plain, or considered to be at risk of flooding then you are strongly advised to register for ‘Floodline’, which is a 24 hour advice and information service for floods and flood warning provided by calling Natural Resources Wales on 0345 988 1188, or by using the following link: