Surface water drainage — what is the water runoff law for property in the UK?

Poor drainage on a road in Suffolk
The law on surface water drainage primarily revolves around the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (Image credit: Amy Willis)

With heavy rainfall expected across the UK this winter — the question of legal responsibilities over water runoff from our properties is an important one.

Inadequate surface water drainage can result in discharge of water onto roads and neighbouring properties. If this runoff isn't promptly resolved, it has the potential to cause disputes or legal issues.

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.