Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Flooding: Who does what?

Flood risk and flood preparedness: who does what

Flooding is an issue that affects individuals, householders, businesses and communities. Dealing with flooding; predicting floods, preventing damage, emergency response and clearing up involves a number of different agencies.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland you only need one number to report a flood.

0300 2000 100

When you ring, a member of staff will take all your details and contact the appropriate agency on your behalf. This is a non emergency number so if you are in danger, call the emergency services on 999.

Northern Ireland: Report flooding

For information on flood defences:

NI Rivers Agency

Flooding can be caused by overflowing sewers and drainage. This is the responsibility of Northern Ireland Water.

NI Water: Sewer flooding

Rivers Agency operates scheduled inspection and maintenance to help ensure that watercourses are free-flowing.

NI Direct: Rivers and watercourses


Floodline provides phone alerts is your property or area is at risk of flooding.

Sign up for flood alerts on 0345 988 1188

Sign up for flood alerts for your property online:

Floodline: online sign-up

When you sign up you will be given a quick dial phone number where you can get further information about the flood risk in your area following a flood alert.

You can also get the quick dial code from the list below:

Floodline: Quick dial codes

For an overview of who does what in terms of flood warnings, responses, planning and prevention measures read the information from SEPA.

SEPA: Flooding - who does what?


Dredging of rivers is often seen as a way of preventing flooding. You may need an authorisation before carrying out such work. Specialists will also assess the situation and advise whether this is likely to be effective. Dredging one section of a river can cause worse flooding elsewhere, can lead to river bank erosion and the dredged material is often replaced by the next high flow event.

In Northern Ireland, to discuss works affecting watercourses and the possibility of dredging you should contact the Rivers Agency.

DAERA (water management unit) has recently published a handbook for landowners and people and organisations involved in carrying out activities that may alter the physical characteristics of flows of rivers and other water bodies, such as dredging.

DAERA: Surface Waters Alterations Handbook

Contact Rivers Agency

In Scotland you should contact SEPA to discuss any plans to dredge or carry out any works on a watercourse, you can also read the SEPA pages for land managers.

SEPA: Dredging, clearance and maintenance of rivers

SEPA: Silt control while dredging

Contact SEPA

In this Guideline

Is your business at risk of flooding?

Preparing your business for flooding

Insure your business against flood damage

Dealing with floods - the aftermath

Flooding: Who does what?

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NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms