Living next to a watercourse

  1. Riparian owners
  2. Responsibilities of a riparian owner
  3. Rights of a riparian owner
  4. Norfolk County Council watercourse responsibilities

Norfolk County Council watercourse responsibilities

Norfolk County Council is the 'operating authority' for ordinary watercourses in 80 per cent of Norfolk. The rest is maintained by the internal drainage board.

Whilst riparian owners are responsible for maintaining watercourses, we may take action where an event has, or is likely to, increase flood risk and relates to:

  • Internal flooding of a residential property which can include an attached garage. Note, a detached garage or shed is not considered internal
  • Flooding of critical infrastructure, for example, a hospital
  • Flooding of main roads, for example, priority one and two winter gritting routes

In such circumstances, we will:

  • Inspect ordinary watercourses
  • Contact riparian owners where maintenance is required and if necessary, serve notice to require maintenance if water flow is seriously impaired
  • Coordinate work along a watercourse
  • Take action to prevent unauthorised piping or culverting of watercourses