Report highway and land drainage issues

Highway drainage

Herefordshire Council is the highway authority for all public roads in the county. This means we must maintain the county's drainage network to minimise the risk of flooding. We follow best practice risk-based principles as set out in the Guidance on the Management of Drainage Assets to do this. 

Report a highway drainage issue

To report issues on trunk roads or motorways in the county (A49T, A40T - Ross-on-Wye to Monmouth, and the M50), contact National Highways.

Land drainage

The owner of a watercourse is legally required to maintain it so that nothing prevents it from flowing freely. Examples of watercourses include rivers, streams, culverts or ditches. In short, a watercourse or riparian owner must:

  • Accept the natural flow from upstream
  • Maintain the watercourse so that water can flow freely through it

The riparian owner does not need to carry out work to cater for increased flow which results from some types of works upstream, such as a new housing development.

Read more about the legal obligations of riparian owners on our ditches and drainage responsibilities page. 

Report a land drainage issue


The council can legally serve a notice under the Land Drainage Act on:

  • A watercourse owner who fails to maintain the free flowing of their watercourse
  • Anyone else who blocks a watercourse or causes it to become obstructed

If an enforcement notice is ignored we may carry out the necessary work to put the problem right. We can then charge the person responsible with the full cost. The person responsible may also be prosecuted under the Public Health Act 1936.