Section 19 Flood Investigations

Flood risk is exacerbating with climate change, and as a result, its vital for communities and authorities to be well placed to enhance their resilience against floods. Section 19 reports are key to collate and record information about flood events.

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Section 19 Report

In recent decades, the United Kingdom has experienced many storm events.

The resultant floods have impacted homes, businesses, communities and people. The flooding has resulted in significant damage to residential properties, businesses, and critical infrastructure. Additionally, it has led to considerable stress and mental health impacts.

Flood risk is exacerbating with climate change, and as a result, its vital for communities and authorities to be well placed to enhance their resilience against floods. Section 19 reports are key to collate and record information about flood events.

The Importance of Section 19 Flood Investigations

These investigations serve a critical function by creating a formal record of flood incidents, thereby addressing a historical gap, especially concerning local sources of flooding such as pluvial, surface water, and groundwater events. They contribute to building an evidence base that guides RMAs in their decision-making processes, ultimately shaping local flood risk management strategies and initiatives.

For communities, especially those smaller or more susceptible to local flooding sources, these reports are instrumental in advocating for enhanced flood resilience measures. They play a vital role in raising awareness and motivating community-led and institutional efforts to adapt to, prepare for, respond to, and recover from future flood events.

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The Role of Lead Local Flood Authorities

In England and Wales, Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) are responsible for conducting thorough investigations following flood incidents within their jurisdictions.

This obligation is detailed in Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, thus these assessments are commonly referred to as Section 19 investigations.

Under Section 19 (S19) of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, The relevant Lead local Flood Authority (LLFA), has a duty to investigate incidents of flooding. The act states that:

  1. On becoming aware of a flood in its area, a lead local flood authority must, to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate, investigate:

(a) Which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions, and

(b) Whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised, or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood.

  1. Where an authority carries out an investigation under subsection (1) it must:

(a) Publish the results of its investigation, and

(b) Notify any relevant risk management authorities.

Flood Risk Community Engagement

Our Contribution to Flood Resilience

The FPS team plays a key role in aiding LLFAs with Section 19 flood investigations. We provide essential support in gathering and analysing data.

The process is vital for understanding and reporting the underlying mechanisms of flooding events, which, in turn, can inform the development of future flood mitigation strategies.

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Key Elements of Section 19 Flood Investigations

Our comprehensive reports aim to determine the origin and nature of the flooding, whether it stems from surface water runoff, river overflow, groundwater, sewage issues, or coastal influences.

The investigations are designed to:

  • Determine the sources and pathways of floodwaters.
  • Identify any factors that may have contributed to or worsened the flooding.
  • Evaluate the likelihood of similar events reoccurring and the conditions preceding them.
  • Assess the impact on individuals, properties, infrastructure, and services.
  • Review the functionality and effectiveness of existing flood defence assets.
  • Analyse the response efficiency, including of flood forecasts and warnings.
  • Examine the actions taken by Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) and their plans for implementing flood risk management functions.
  • Extract valuable lessons from the events.
  • Engaging Communities and Stakeholders

Community and Partner Engagement

Engaging with communities through direct meetings, consultations and digital platforms is fundamental, not only for gathering insights but also for setting realistic expectations regarding the investigation’s outcomes.

Dialogue with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including Risk Management Authorities, the Environmental Agency, utility companies, and local councils, facilitates a comprehensive understanding of challenges and successes, fostering a more productive and thorough output.

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Book a call with our team of flood risk consultants to discuss your specific requirements.

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If you’d like to raise an initial enquiry or ask us a question, please feel free to drop us an email via the form below.

Get In Touch

If you’d like to raise an initial enquiry or ask us a question, please feel free to drop us an email via the form below.