Reporting a blocked drain or gully

Cleaning Schedules

Gullies and drains are cleaned on a regular schedule.

If the contractor is pulled away from this schedule to deal with individual gullies all over the city, the schedule falls behind and more gullies don’t get cleaned on time.

To stop delays to important work, we will stick to the schedule unless there is an emergency.

An emergency means either:

  • flooding of homes or businesses
  • a safety hazard to people on the road and pavement which is frequent and lasting (particularly one that does not disappear soon after heavy rain has stopped).

Reporting surface water floods

Before you report a blocked drain, please check that other action can't help with the problem.

  • Are there leaves or other detritus blocking the top of the gully? 

If so, can you remove these? If not, please contact Cityclean to ask about street cleaning.

  • Does the flood subside reasonably soon after rain has stopped? 

If so, the system is working but needs time to cope.

Reporting a blocked gully or drain

If you feel you need to report an issue, please use this form.

Report a blocked drain or gully

We are working towards making our schedule as efficient as possible and all information will be used for a more risk-based approach to cleaning gullies.

We cannot contact everyone directly in response to all reports of flooding or blocked gullies but we will look at the information provided, including visiting the site as necessary.

Our priorities will be flooded homes or genuine safety issues.(i.e. not garages, gardens, etc)

Why does flooding happen?

Surface water flooding is very complex and there are usually several reasons for any increase in “mini floods.”

This is not always due to gullies being blocked.

Very heavy rain falling in a short time period is an increasing problem. The drainage system can't always absorb a large quantity of water in one go although it will gradually run into the system. If the rain is very heavy, the water flows over the tops of the drains for a while, but this will eventually be absorbed into the system.

Other issues causing surface water flooding:

  • more hard landscaping e.g. driveways, tarmac over grass verges
  • cars parked over gullies (drains)
  • a long dry period before the rainfall which means the ground is hard and less able to absorb water quickly
  • a prolonged wet period,  where the ground may be saturated and therefore unable to absorb additional large quantities of water quickly
  • more infrastructure in the city, using the sewage/drainage network

In these cases, the gullies and soakaways may be working but just need time to be able to cope with the levels of water run off.


Go to the Cityclean street cleaning pages for more information about street cleaning.