Reporting drainage problems

Ditches and Watercourses

Main Rivers

Main Rivers are the watercourses shown on Environment Agency Main River Map. Responsibility lies with the riparian owner however, the Environment Agency has powers to undertake maintenance of Main Rivers. 

Ordinary watercourses

Ordinary watercourses include all ditches and watercourses not designated as main rivers by the Environment Agency. Responsibility lies with the riparian owner and enforcement is undertaken by Arun District Council, on behalf of West Sussex County Council, the Lead Local Flood Authority.  To report any drainage problems where enforcement may be required please email                  

Internal Drainage District

The River Arun Internal Drainage District is an area where there is special drainage need and is currently managed by the Environment Agency.



Trunk roads

Drainage issues on trunk roads such as the A27 should be reported to Highways England.

Other public roads

Drainage issues on all other public roads in the district should be reported to the Highways department at West Sussex County Council.            


Groundwater and Surface Water

Flooding from groundwater and surface water should be reported to West Sussex County Council.




Public sewers and lateral drains are the responsibility of Southern Water.  Information on what to do in an emergency, including reporting sewer flooding to Southern Water can be found here.


Cesspits and drains serving only one property within the property boundary are the responsibility of the property owner. More information about the transfer of private sewers is available from Southern Water.