Source of flood water explained by Tempest Restoration

Sources of Flood Water Explained

From coastal water, to river flooding and more.

Flooding is normally caused by natural weather events such as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms over a short period, prolonged, extensive rainfall and high tide combined with stormy conditions. It is also predicted that climate change will increase the risk of flooding in the UK and other parts of the world. The following factors can also cause or contribute to flooding.

Common types of flooding include Coastal flooding, River flooding, Flash flooding, Groundwater flooding and Sewer flooding. If you are worried about the types of floods that may occur in your area and need advice on how to prepare for them, contact the Environment Agency (EA) or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on their shared Floodline - 0845 988 1188. Both the EA website and the SEPA website allow you to assess flood risk by postcode and contain wide-ranging advice. The EA website includes sections for families, older people and businesses. Please note that in many cases the advice has legal implications (see the section on your rights and duties).

Coastal flooding

Heavy storms or other extreme weather conditions combined with high tides can cause sea levels to rise above normal, force sea water to the land and cause coastal flooding. Proper flood defences need to be in place to safeguard life and property. The Environment Agency and SEPA constantly monitor sea levels and release flood warnings when required.

River flooding

This type of flooding, where a river bursts or overtops its banks and floods the areas around it, is more common than coastal flooding in the UK. River flooding is generally caused by prolonged, extensive rain. Flooding can be worsened by melting snow. Flooding can also occur if the free flow of a river gets blocked by fallen trees, natural overgrowth or rubbish.

People who own land around rivers (riparian owners) in England have a legal duty to prevent flooding by making sure that they avoid blocking the free flow of the river.

Flash flooding

A flash flood is a fast-moving and unexpected flood. Flash flooding is usually due to heavy rain. While natural events may be responsible for most flash flooding, it may also arise if flood defences fail or drainage systems are insufficient. It is expected that flash flooding may become more frequent due to climate change and over-development in flood plains.

Groundwater flooding

Groundwater flooding can occur when water levels underneath the ground rise above normal levels approaching the surface. It is usually caused by prolonged periods of rainfall. Groundwater flooding can last for weeks and months. The UK Groundwater Forum estimates that groundwater flooding affects several hundred thousand properties in the UK. It differs from surface water flooding which is caused when heavy rain directly hits the ground surface.

Sewer flooding

ewer flooding may result from a failure of the sewerage system. It may also happen when the sewer system does not have enough capacity to take water entering the system from heavy rainfall or river or highway flooding.

Sewage water flowing into a building is classified as internal flooding. When it floods a garden or other open space such as roads or public grounds it is considered as external flooding.

If sewage flooding on your property is caused by a fault in your private drainage, you are responsible for sorting out the problem. In England, sewerage undertakers now have responsibility for some private sewers (as opposed to private drains – the distinction being that sewers drain more than one property). If the flooding is due to a fault in the public sewerage system, your local sewerage provider is responsible for fixing it.

In England, your local council will normally be responsible for drains and sewers around council homes while the EA would sort out any problem arising from river and coastal floods. Unitary authorities and county councils are responsible for highway drainage.

In Scotland, Scottish Water manages the public water and sewerage network, which includes assessing the risk of surface and sewer flooding.

The Highways Agency is responsible for maintaining the main road networks in England. Transport Scotland is responsible for motorways and trunk roads in Scotland. The Welsh Government manages motorways and trunk roads in Wales.


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Who can assist during a flood?

The Environment Agency is responsible for building, maintaining and operating flood defences and for issuing flood warnings to the public, other flood responding organisations and the media. The Environment Agency also provides the Floodline 0845 988 1188 service. You can listen to recorded information on flooding for your area or speak to an operator for advice 24 hours a day.

Floodline - sign up to Floodline Warnings Direct.

Floodline is also available in Scotland, coordinated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Natural Resources Wales

The Police coordinate the emergency services when a major flood incident occurs and help with the evacuation of people from their homes where necessary.

The Fire & Rescue Service's main objective is to save lives and evacuate people to safety. Some local services provide water pumping to remove flood water.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can issue advice (in some circumstances) on how to obtain money in an emergency and what action to take around insurance. Contact information on your Bureau can be found in the phone book or on the Citizens Advice Bureau website.

Local Authorities work with the police, fire and rescue services and the Environment Agency to co-ordinate responses during severe flooding, issue advice to the local area about the incident and what action to take and organise rest centres for people evacuated from their homes and set up temporary shelters/accommodation for those people who have nowhere else they can go to. They will also address road closures and disruption to social services and investigate dame introduced by overflowing drains and sewers. Where resource and material are available, they may supply sandbags and/or other preventative materials.

The National Flood Forum is a national charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities and individuals at risk of flooding.

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A. Here at Tempest Restoration we have been providing flood restoration services to properties across the UK. In that time we have dealt with water damage of all scales. Over the years have not only been involved in 1000's of small domestic disaster restoration claims but also major incidents from the Cumbrian floods to the Buncefield fire at the oil storage terminal in Hertfordshire. Our continuous investment in the very latest flood drying equipment and technician training enables us to handle professionally any size and scale of flood damage. Our aim is to provide a prompt, professional and reliable disaster restoration service to domestic and commercial property owners.

A. We are fully equipped to clean up flood damage after all types of flood. Over the years we have helped thousands of homeowners and businesses alike recover from Coastal flooding, River flooding, Flash flooding, Groundwater flooding and Sewer flooding. Read our guide on common types of flood water. We are able to deal with all types of water including clean water, grey water (a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to) and black water (water which contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness). Read our guide on common categories of water. Floods can be caused for many different reasons. Heavy rainfall, storm water, river flooding, coastal surges, leaking/burst pipes or human error are all typical causes of flood water in the home or business premises. The source of the ingress isn't always visible neither. Water can trace itself to a point from a large distance away from the entry source. Here at Tempest we have specialist detection equipment for trace and access on water ingression to a property.

A. Flood water can devastate a property. The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface. At this point, the potential damage done to a structure that you may not have been aware of can be large in scale. Or, it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property. Whatever the cause, primary flood damage is just the beginning and you need to act fast to minimise the consequences of secondary damage. Your home is full of porous materials that absorb water like a sponge which will damage structural integrity. Water causes corrosion and damages electrical equipment which can be fatal if not identified. Residual moisture becomes water vapour throughout the building which will condense. If the water is not completely removed it can lead to dry rot and a high risk of microbial growth e.g. mould and bacteria which is damaging to your health and isnt always something visible to the naked eye like typical black mould in a bathroom.

A. After a safety assessment, we look to identify the cause of the water leak or ingress using various tools and equipment. Our experienced team of technicians will look to make a decision on the best course of action for your situation. The next stage utilises advanced water removal equipment followed by rapid drying technology and humidity control to remove the water and moisture from the property.

A. Their are many potential health risks associated with flood water. Apart from the initial potential risk of drowning, the further potential risks to your health very much depend upon the nature of the water. We are able to deal with all types of water including clean water, grey water (a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to) and black water (water which contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness). If there is any possibility of contamination DO NOT TOUCH IT, call Tempest Restoration on 0845 052 4522. Read our guide on common categories of water.

A. Every case is different and their are many factors that make up the scale of damage and repair required due to flood damage of a property. We recommend a site survey to ascertain the level of damage and repair required. Once on site, we are able to quickly advise on the best course of action to bring about the most effective recovery. Our state-of-the-art equipment ensures the remediation process will be thorough, effective and as fast as possible, returning your home or business to normality as quickly as possible. Using the latest technology and with highly experienced technicians, our aim is to complete the restoration in the best way to reduce costs and prevent secondary damage in the future.

A. Every flood is unique and as such the timescale is dependent on many variations and factors. A small scale water leak is usually quiker to repair than large scale flooding caused by a river overflowing. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will assess the damage and act fast and efficiently to provide a tailored and precise response to your properties specific requirements. The use of modern equipment, rapid drying technology and working practise means that your home or business will be safely and quickly returned to normal, minimising disruption and cost.

A. We operate across the UK with technicians available in major towns and cities. Our head office is based in Swaffham, Norfolk where we undertake all our training.

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