Devon County Council

We are responsible for managing local flood risk in Devon (i.e. risks of internal property flooding from surface water, ground water and ordinary (smaller) watercourses). This excludes flood risk from the sea and main rivers, which is the Environment Agency’s responsibility.

  • Surface water flooding occurs when high intensity rainfall generates runoff which flows over the surface of the ground and pools in low lying areas. Rainwater (including snow and other precipitation) – which is on the surface of the ground (whether or not it is moving), and has not entered a watercourse, drainage system or public sewer.
  • Ordinary watercourse flooding (flooding from any watercourse not designated as main river) occurs when flows in the channel exceeds its capacity, due to excess rainfall and/or runoff or a blockage within the channel.
  • Groundwater flooding occurs when water levels within the ground rise above the ground surface.

Before becoming a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), we were responsible for maintaining and repairing highway surface water drainage systems and planning for and responding to flood emergencies. We still have these responsibilities, but we are now also responsible for developing, maintaining and applying a Local Flood Risk Strategy.

Under the new Flood and Water Management Act we are required to:

  • Investigate all significant flooding incidents
  • Maintain a register and record of important flood defence assets
  • Work towards becoming the SuDS Approving Body (SAB) to ensure use of sustainable drainage on new developments, approve, adopt and maintain
  • Build effective partnerships between the authorities that have control over flood risk
  • Undertake specific tasks associated with the Flood Risk Regulations, including completing a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment and identifying local Flood Risk Areas
  • Undertake works to manage flood risk from surface runoff and groundwater, consistent with the local strategy for flood risk management for the area