Drains, gullies and flooding on the highway

We are responsible for the road drains (gullies) that remove water from the public highway.  We are not responsible for main carrier drains, public sewers, water courses, private foul sewers, water service mains and pipes or rivers and riverbanks (riparian). 

Even when a gully is clean and well maintained it will only cope with a certain volume of water at one time, a sudden and heavy downpour can still cause flooding especially if the road is in a low lying area.

Tree roots can cause an issue as they grow through and along the pipes reducing the amount of space for the surface water to be removed. These need to be removed by specialist equipment.

We use gully tankers to remove silt from the drains on all adopted highway. We also use high pressure jetting to remove blockages and special cameras to check the drains.

Flooding hotspots across MK have been identified by us and are cleaned and checked on a regular basis. This means that if there is heavy rainfall, the gullies can remove surface water to their maximum capacity. 

We provide sandbags only in exceptional circumstances in an emergency where there is a serious risk to the public. 

If you live in a flood prone area, visit our Flooding page to find out how you can protect your property in the event of a flood.

Service Statement on gully cleaning

We will:

  • maintain the gullies so they can effectively remove road surface water 
  • respond to blocked gullies and monitor hotspots
  • inspect and clean all drainage grids and grilles annually  
  • inspect, clean and clear all drainage grips (a shallow ditch to help water drain from the road) as part of our annual maintenance
  • clean Council-maintained ditches on an annual basis these are: Deethe Close (Woburn Sands), Lower Weald, Orchard Way (Stoke Goldington) and Tathall End
  • provide a 24-7 emergency service to respond to drainage emergencies

Our gullies empty into the main storm sewer in the road. This is owned and managed by the water company which drains the surface water into the rivers and balancing lakes. In Milton Keynes this is Anglian Water. You can contact them at www.anglianwater.co.uk

You can report a blocked road drain using the Report It section on our website or call 01908 252353.