Watercourse inspections

Under section 18 and 59 of the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 all local authorities have an obligation to inspect bodies of water (watercourses) to determine if their condition may pose a risk of flooding.

Visual assessments are split into two categories: open watercourses and grille inspections. These are usually carried out annually and every two weeks respectively.

During these inspections, we typically look out for

  • Obstructions in the channel such as fallen trees, debris, and foreign objects.
  • Significant erosion, bank collapse or subsidence.
  • Collapsing structures such as retaining walls and culverts.

How SEPA manages flood risk

Frequently asked questions

Where a watercourse on council-owned land is deemed to be a high flood risk, we may undertake clearance and repair works. Otherwise, it is the responsibility of the riparian landowner.

Under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, the council has the right to enter the land to inspect watercourses. Where entering gardens, or land where a property is in clear view, we will notify the resident/landowner first as a courtesy.

Our inspection regime includes watercourses in areas that are deemed at risk and/or have a history of flooding. If you have experienced flooding in your area please report it to the contact centre on 01786 404040.

Last updated: Monday, March 1, 2021 11:22 AM