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The council has a co-ordinated approach to managing flood risk across its own services and by working closely with partner agencies so that there is a consistent approach to the treatment of flood risk.  This pages provides information about the work the Council and its partners undertake in this area.

Key contacts for reporting flooding in Leeds
In an emergency, Leeds City Council can be contacted out of hours on the following telephone number : 0113 376 0499.
If you are unsure which of the agencies below to contact regarding a flooding issue, please ring Leeds City Council for advice, on 0113 222 4407 during office hours.

  • For main river flooding please contact the Environment Agency 0845 9881188
  • For ordinary watercourses and culverted (i.e. piped) watercourse flooding- please contact Leeds City Council Flood Risk Management 0113 3950298
  • For clean water mains supply, contact Yorkshire Water 0845 124 2424
  • For issues with public sewers, contact Yorkshire Water 0845 124 2429
  • For private sewers and drains, and for flooding in cellars, please contact Leeds City Council, Environmental Health  0113 222 4406
  • For water runoff from the Highway, please contact Leeds City Council, Highway Services  0113 222 4407
  • For floodwater run-off from higher land and for waterlogged gardens, please contact the Individual land owner.

Advice for people flooded
In the Documents section you will find a series of practical guides for individuals who have become the victim of flooding. It’s important to know who you can turn to and where you can get help and support. We hope you find this information useful.


The Council's policy on issuing sandbags

Leeds City Council keeps a small stock of sandbags at various sites, but these are primarily for the protection of public buildings and council properties.  A copy of the Council's Policy on sandbags is available in the Downloads section on this page.  


Flood Emergency Plans
In major flood incidents, the priorities of the Council and its partners are:

  • to provide material and technical support to the emergency services and EA in their immediate responses;
  • to provide welfare support for people evacuated or stranded in homes;
  • to co-ordinate a recovery process to help smooth a return to normality.

To enable this to happen in an effective manner, the Council has developed a number of emergency plans for flooding.  There is a generic Flooding Plan suitable for all types of flooding, but other plans have been developed with partners to address specific, known flood risks such as the River Aire in Central  Leeds, and the River Wharfe at Otley.  The Council is working increasingly with community groups to develop local flooding plans which can be implemented quickly by local residents to address flooding when it happens rather than after emergency responders arrive. This section provides an overview of these arrangements.

Responsibilities for flooding and flood risk
The effective treatment and mitigation of flood risks has long been hindered by the lack of a single, clear statutory framework setting out the responsibilities of organisations with a role in maintaining bodies of water or planning and responding to flooding resulting from these.

These include the Environment Agency (enforcement on ‘main rivers’ and reservoirs covered by the Reservoirs Act), the Council (enforcement on ordinary watercourses, as well as highway gullies and culverts). Yorkshire Water (public sewers, reservoirs) and private landowners with riparian ownership.


Reservoir Inundation

Leeds City Council has emergency plans in place for reservoir emergencies such as dam failure and flood water inundation.  Reservoirs are built and maintained to very high standards and are subject to a rigorous inspection regime.  The likelihood of this kind of flooding is therefore very low, but the impact would potentially be high, if a dam failure did occur.   Leeds City Council has a duty to inform the Public of known risks, and as a result has sent out Public Information leaflets ( see the documents folder) to residents in Roundhay, with regard to Waterloo Lake, and to residents in Yeadon, with regard to Yeadon Tarn.  These two reservoirs require site-specific plans according to guidance provided by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  The plans have been developed with key partners, and were last tested in 2013.

Overview of Flood Risk Management
The Leeds district is at risk of flooding from complex set of multiple sources including: large ‘main rivers’ (Rivers Aire, Wharfe and Calder); small ‘main rivers’ (the Wyke, Wortley, Farnley Wood, Meanwood, Cock, Oulton, and Collingham Becks); ordinary watercourses; public sewers; private sewers; highway gullies and culverts; surface water run-off from fields and open spaces as well as reservoirs and lakes with embankments. More information is available by searching for flood risk management on this website.  

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