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Cleaning up after sewer flooding

It's important to ensure your property is cleaned up safely following flooding.

We'll have to wait for most of the water to soak away before we can start work. We'll begin the clean-up on the same day if we can but may need to arrange further visits. 

What we can do What we can't do

Remove excess liquids and most sewer debris outside your home

Dry out your property
Remove most of the debris discharged from the sewer Lift decking or move outdoor furniture
Disinfect hard surfaces outside, such as driveways, paths and decking

Remove or replace damaged items inside or outside your property

External cleaning

Our clean-up service includes litter picking, removing excess liquids and most sewer debris. We'll disinfect hard surfaces outside, such as driveways and paths. We can only clean underneath decking if you’ve lifted this beforehand. Be aware disinfectant can also kill plants and grass.

Our engineers aren't responsible for moving, replacing or disposing of outdoor furniture at your property. We won't be able to remove or replace shingle.

Please avoid contact with externally flooded areas. The time it takes for the area to become safe again can vary depending on the weather, as the ultraviolet light from the sun helps to kill off bacteria. Please avoid raking or digging the area as this can slow down the process.


 Season Recovery time for turf or clay Recovery time for soil, sand, shingle or bark
 Spring 12 days 26 days
 Summer 9 days 9 days
 Autumn 12 days 26 days
 Winter 25 days 25 days


If you grow fruit or vegetables, you’ll need to destroy any that have come in contact with flood water. We advise not growing crops in the affected soil for 12 months. For more information, see WRc's sewage flooding guidance

Please contact your home insurance provider, who may be able to help you. Remember to take photos or videos of any flooding damage externally before you start to clean as these can help with your claim. 

Internal cleaning

We may be able to clean up minor spills inside your home, but we recommend you contact your insurer for advice on the following:

  • Drying out your property
  • Professional clean up inside your property
  • Replacing damaged items
  • Alternative accommodation

If you're cleaning inside your property yourself, please make sure you:

  • Keep children and pets far away from flooded areas
  • Wear protective clothing, such as rubber gloves and a mask, if you're cleaning
  • Wash your hands, and your children’s hands, frequently
  • Throw away any food that may have been in contact with the flood
  • Call your doctor straight away if you suffer any symptoms like diarrhoea or vomiting after a flood
  • Carefully check your electrical appliances aren't damaged or wet before using them
  • Use food-safe disinfectant to wash kitchen surfaces and storage areas
  • Use a heater and open the windows to speed up drying (wait until flood water has gone)
  • Don't use petrol or diesel generators indoors because of dangerous exhaust fumes

In most cases, we aren't liable for damage to your property caused by flooding. For example, we can't prevent people causing blockages by tipping fat, concrete and other unsuitable materials into our sewers. 

Please contact your home insurance provider, who may be able to help you. Remember to take photos or videos of any flooding damage before you start to clean inside your property as these can help with your claim.